Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In the Union's Dog House

The silhouette of San Leandro School Board President Morgan Mack-Rose. Her comments Dec. 21 critical of the city employee contracts raised the eyebrows of some union members.
By Steven Tavares

Members of the San Leandro School Board like to preface their comments to other government body's by acknowledging their forthcoming words are theirs and not those of the same person, otherwise known as the school board trustee. Trustee Mike Katz uses this linguistic hula hop as does Board President Morgan Mack-Rose. Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy also used it last week when he urged the city council to hold off voting on two city employee contracts. As if speaking as a private citizen is any different than the same person giving their opinion on the chamber dais.

Of course, doing so, gives each some wiggle room, if needed, in the future. The beginning of the Cassidy era in San Leandro was auspicious in many ways. An outsider in the mayor's office and the skirmishes likely to follow with the city's status quo, but it also provided a rare and visible pivot point in the where many local pols stand on one issue: unions.

For the city's employee unions, last week's vote on their new two-year contracts, asked "are you for us or against us?"

The San Leandro Police Officers Association already pegged Cassidy as public enemy #1 last October, but others have emerged from their recent comments. Mack-Rose not only employed the dual-personality preface, but also told the council she may not understand the contracts, but nevertheless, found problems with them, specifically the drop in furlough days from 12 to 6. The act was similar to an old Saturday Night Live skit featuring Phil Hartman as the thawed-out caveman who becomes a lawyer. "I'm just a caveman," the lawyer used to punctuate his argument to the everyman jury. One union rep smiled knowingly after her comments. The large of group of union members at the council chambers guffawed when one opponent portrayed them as high-priced government workers.

Others were justifiably quiet over the contracts, but their inaction spoke volumes. Councilmember-elect Pauline Cutter strode a fine line between alienating her union support during the campaign, but she popped her head on the pro-pension reform side too often. Her call, along with Cassidy, to hold off on the contracts raised eye-brows along with Councilwoman Ursula Reed, who abstained on the basis of showing the two in-coming members the confidential labor negotiations. Reed said she fears no retribution from unions in the future and said she supports the new labor contracts. Councilmembers Jim Prola, Joyce Starosciak, Michael Gregory and even outgoing Mayor Tony Santos, conversely, all said the right things to union brass.

While the political scene may have been jumbled recently with the election of Cassidy, one bromide continues to exist: you can't expect much of a political future in this city without sustained union support. It's the reason Katz did not dare voice an opinion on the union contracts, even at the urging of his wife.
Dominic Dutra
FREMONT'S HIRED GUN? Stephen Cassidy is not the only white knight hoping to save city finances by forcing the unions to pay. Fremont's newest city councilmember is hoping to achieve the same trick.

When Fremont City Council approved former member Dominic Dutra to replace Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski earlier this month, the appointment likely sends a message to the city employee unions who are due to negotiate contracts in 2011. Fremont, like almost every Bay Area city is struggling with budget shortfalls.

Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman told the Oakland Tribune, "When we have to tackle very tough budget problems, he won't shy away," Every member except Councilman Bill Harrison named Dutra as their first choice. Dutra says he will not seek re-election in 2012, but power has a way of changing minds.


Screw these government worker SOB's. What the hell do they think, because they call themselves a "union" they can automatically ride roughshod over everyone? That's we're supposed to bend over and kiss their ass? They've got another damn thing coming. These bastards are constantly wanting to raise taxes and drive businesses out of town for their own monetary gain and we're supposed to succumb to them because they call themselves a "union". Hey baboozes you're the hired help, the taxpayers are the ones paying the bill. NOT YOU!

Morgan Mack Rose Rocks! Screw these "unions" is right! They're all "me, me, me, us, us, us", no regards for the residents who actually live in town. Gimme a break with their solidarity also, are they saying they never shop at Walmart, but only union stores. They know their jig is up, they knew SAntos was a dumbass, and know that Cassidy is in, their intimidation tactics are not going to work anymore.

Tavares' Daily Worker Union Propaganda. Unions for unskilled laborers like janitors and home health care aides trying to survive on low wages is a good thing. But public employee unions for do-nothing gub'mint workers who make more than $100K, don't produce anything, and cannot be fired no matter how incompetent, and then get to retire at full salary for life at 55 is unsustainable and ridiculous.

And you're wrong Tavares - San Leandro public officials no longer need union support - that was pretty obvious and evidenced by Cassidy winning the election. There's a new sheriff in town and he's going after the unionized crooks! And as much as you dislike it, Tim Holmes, Mike Katz and all the SLCAN people have more influence in town than the good ole' boy crooks and you do.

The unions underestimated Cassidy. They probably won't do that next time.They canvassed against him in mid September instead of late October. I wonder who'll they will run against him.Some city employees make very good money but on average most don't. They are very well educated compared to the private sector and many of their jobs require a college degree. On average 48 percent of public sector workers have a college degree compared to 23 percent in the private sector.On average they get paid less when you compare identical jobs like engineers to engineers etc, apple to apple comparisons as they call it. Also studies show that people who gravitate toward jobs that offer more security than more money are usually have a little more going on between the ears ,which means the city and taxpayers may be getting a very good deal.
When unions get this information to people like Morgan, she will probably modify her position.Google the study on public employee vs.private sector pay Out of Balance or the Labor Studies UCBerkeley study The Truth about Public Sector Employees Pay.
The incoming Republicans in Congress are making public employees their #1 target?Why, because most union jobs are in the public sector thanks to corporate Americans love affair with Chinese labor and their disrespect for American workers, families and communities.



Bust the unions in the public sector and you destroy worker rights in America , which is the Republican ongoing #1 priority.


Craig, the Union brokered deals are busting our cities, resulting in unemployment and the Unions do very little to help the unemployed. It is time that the Union supported Americans and not the sweetheart deals that result in the rape of the city. Mel


Most studies by non-biased groups show an increase in gub'mint compensation for similar work - more pay, plus way more generous benefits and retirement that no one gets in the private sector. From personal experience, I cannot believe that the best and the brightest take gub'mint jobs - how many MENSA members have you encountered at the DMV, County Assessor's Office, or anyone inside the city of San Leandro? It seems the only time union members can work hard is to buy and pay for politicians like Jerry Brown and Tony Santos.

Public employee unions are not needed to "protect" workers because we all know gub'mint workers are never fired for any reason (including incompetence and not showing up to work). Public employee unions merely exist to "negotiate" more pay for less work - and since they've bought and paid for the arbiter - the deck is ultimately stacked against the taxpayer.

Maybe you're one of them, or maybe you're just a good liberal who thinks like one - but they've got you brainwashed pretty good. If you want to pay more taxes so that they can live high off the hog, please write a check to the state and city, but leave my money alone, biotch!

Craig you are the most reliable poster here. Anything to defend waste and inefficiency in government you're right there.

Since I know you hate Wal-Mart, I'll compare them to City workers. The manager of a typical Wal-Mart manages 400-500 workers and is paid $100,000 a year while the City Manager is paid over $200,000 a year and manages less than 400 people. Take your comparisons and put them into reality, not the fantasy socialist world you dream about.

Oh yeah, the best and the brightest end up in government what a joke. I'm still laughing that one off.

You know,70, 80, 90 years ago, even the most backwoods immigrant who came here barefoot from Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Poland KNEW, KNEW that government workers should not be allowed to unionize because it would be tax colletors arguing with tax collectors and no one would be looking out for the taxpayer.

Corporate America said "send your manufacturing sector overseas and you will get better jobs." Now after a thirty year wage freeze Americans have turned in their union cards for credit cards and are in debt up to their eyeballs. And the government is borrowing $2 billion a day. Blame the conservatives for that.
Export manufacturing and you are left with low wage jobs. Bankers are bailed out but are now investing in BRIC (Brazil,Russia, India and China).Conservatives should contact their banks and tell them how much you love America and ask them to invest here.
Keep your ear away from the phone because their laughter noise might be damaging to your hearing.How many times do you need to be fooled before your smarten up.The economy sucks because your leaders sold you down the river.Wake up and smell the Depression.

All we hear from Craig are platitudes and sociliast generalities. Nothing to back up his arguments. Blame the capitalist and not taxes and regulations. The oppressed versus the oppresor. A very sad, bitter and angry man.

Some one around here sounds just like Barney Frank. However the truth is:

"No one contributed more to the policies behind the housing boom and bust, which led to the economic disaster we are now in, than Congressman Barney Frank.

His powerful position on the House of Representatives' Committee on Financial Services gave him leverage to force through legislation and policies which pressured banks and other lenders to grant mortgage loans to people who would not qualify under the standards which had long prevailed, and had long made mortgage loans among the safest investments around.

All this was done in the name of promoting more home-ownership among people who had neither the income nor the credit history that would meet traditional mortgage lending standards.

To those who warned of the risks in the new policies, Congressman Frank replied in 2003 that critics "exaggerate a threat of safety" and "conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see." Far from being reluctant to promote risky practices, Barney Frank said, "I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation."

With the federal regulators leaning on banks to make more loans to people who did not meet traditional qualifications -- the "underserved population" in political Newspeak -- and quotas being given to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy more of these riskier mortgages from the original lenders, critics pointed out the dangers in these pressures to meet arbitrary home ownership goals. But Barney Frank counter-attacked against these critics.

In 2004 he said: "I believe that we, as the Federal Government, have probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing." He went further: "I would like to get Fannie and Freddie more deeply into helping low-income housing."

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were crucial to these schemes to force lenders to lend to those whom politicians wanted them to lend to, rather than to those who were most likely to pay them back. So it is no surprise that Barney Frank was very protective towards these two government-sponsored enterprises that were buying up mortgages that banks were willing to make under political pressure, but were often unwilling to keep.

The risks which banks were passing on to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were ultimately risks to the taxpayers. Although there was no formal guarantee to these enterprises, everybody knew that the federal government would always bail them out, if necessary, to keep them from failing.

Everybody except Barney Frank.

"There is no guarantee," according Congressman Frank in 2003, "there is no explicit guarantee, there is no implicit guarantee, there is no wink-and-nod guarantee." Barney Frank is a master of rhetoric, who does not let the facts cramp his style.

Fast forward now to 2008, after the risky mortgages had led to huge numbers of defaults, dragging down Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the financial markets in general -- and with them the whole economy.

Barney Frank was all over the media, pointing the finger of blame at everybody else. When financial analyst Maria Bartiromo asked Congressman Frank who was responsible for the financial crisis, he said, "right-wing Republicans." It so happens that conservatives were the loudest critics who had warned for years against the policies that Barney Frank pushed, but why let facts get in the way?"
You get burned by liberal policies and you blame conservatives for the resulting "Depression" you smell.

Exactly Justin. People like Craig and Barney Frank and Bernie Sanders never take responsibility for their ignorance, in fact it's is held up in splendor while reality is sneered upon. Pathetic internet urchins.

Justin, why the long rant?Frank may need a spanking but the dudes who call the shorts are the bankers.Securitization, basically transforming mortgages into derivatives and CBO's and other exotic financial bundles .Key point ,this went from 10 percent in 1980 to 30 percent in the 90's to 0ver 60 in 2005.These are the dudes who blew up the bubble.Who made the big money, they demanded more and more mortgages.If you don't believe me .go tell your boss that you're running things and not him.Frank didn't write the campaign contributions,the bankers did. Also,Greenspan and the rating companies should get the grand prize for melting things down.
You shouldn't blame the public sector workers for inequality because that's what you're suggesting.Other countries have higher union rates and more benefits.If you had more rights you would probably be doing better.In other countries they have a higher private sector union rate but lower public sector union rate.Here we are getting smaller union rates in the private sector, it's ridiculous below 5 percent.Thank God for public sector employees.
Justin ,you want more numbers read my previous point about borrowing $2billion a day from China.
I've discovered that many educators who are quite bright choose the public sector for job security over making a killing on say Wall Street.Most professors at UCBerkeley would probably make more in the private sector.


Craig, those exotics you rail about were made specifically to make them "attractive". They had to be made attractive because no one wanted that garbage, no one wanted to lend money to people with bad credit and no ability to repay the loans. So once again we hear the same crap spewing from your piehole about bankers, when it was liberals like you, Sanders and Frank who were strong arming bankings into making bad loans. If any of those banker refused to make loans to such uncreditworthy folks you'd be the first to cry; elitist, racists, bigot, etc. etc etc. It's the same argument from Craig; nonsense.

I doubt most of those professors at Berkeley could handle the stress of running Casper's Hot Dogs for a month, before they go running back to academia.

The loans were bundled to make money. The credit rating agencies sold them as AAA which was part of the scam.The Republicans were in power. By bundling the loans the bankers made a ton of money."Get me f#$$##$$ loans"was what the investment community cry .Fantasies of Barney Frank calling the shots in D.C.and Wall Street must stem from some perverse admiration of Frank.


Sorry Craig, you can't have it both ways. The banks never wanted to make the loans, yet dweebs like you and Frank said "don't worry, The Feds will bail you out, and in the mean time look at all the money you'll make" Now your type wants to blame the bankers. You may think you're talking to some idiots back in Massachusetts but we're not buying your lies.


I had to make the long post to cover any potholes you might try to put in the way of truth.
The answers have already been gone over but in short, mortgage bankers do not lend money to bad risks unless they have an out. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided that out as they bought all the trash mortgages that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd made them loan. That did more damage to the economy than it could stand. You had banks---yes banks and bankers losing fortunes along with Freddie and Fannie because of this short-sighted approach to lending. Investors and banks were fools to go along with it. In the end, it was the taxpayer who took it in the shorts---as usual. Now our dollar is devalued due to Quatitative Easing and inflation will soon be on the way while more mortgage defaults follow.
Oh and by the way, all of these loans were started under Clinton. Bush took office with the economy already going south.
Those loans were packaged and sold to Fannie and Freddie because they were asking for it. It freed up more money for the banks to lend as the money was not tied up in loans on their books. That was what it was for----more money to people who could not otherwise qualify. Fannie and Freddie rated these packaged loans not the banks. The banks just sold the individual loans to the government. The government faked up a bunch of bundled subprime loans and other instruments and when the housing prices---due to the unqualified being dumped into loans that had adjustable rates. When housing prices fell, the rates adjusted and homeowners were found to owe more on their mortgages than the homes were worth---upside down in their mortgages. They took off and left the investors(Lehman Brothers ring a bell?), banks and the government holding the bag.
All of this could have been stopped if Barney, Chris and Clinton hadn't been threatening to sue mortgage companies over redlining and other practices that kept this from happening in the first place. Now we reap their idiotic whirlwind.
Bankers and Investment companies do not like to be sued over their practices especially by the infinitely deep pockets of government. They rolled over, saving what could have been decades of legal bills---to our detriment.
I have a ton of numbers as well. California is spending over $4,000,000 a day on unemployment costs. How are we going to get out of that for another year? The Chinese have also stopped buying our debt because of Obama's fiscal policies doing absolutely nothing for the economy. Unemployment continues to rise and his solution is much like yours---raise taxes, higher more government workers and suck the capital out of private industry that they would otherwise use to hire new workers, buy new equipment etc.
Government workers make twice as much as the same job in private industry. You assertions otherwise are ridiculous. From USA Today:

"At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available."

You arguments are what union hacks are saying that they are educated and have a high level of skill. So do the employees in the private sector who do the same darned job!


Do lick Santos' huevos just like Tavares? Or are you both paid by your union pimps?

Right wing brothers and sisters .Someone is selling you a fairy tale about the meltdown and public employees. You screwed up in pushing de-industrialization, you didn't want to be in the same hospital as blacks, so we now have the most expensive health care in the world , bankrupting millions of families and not insuring 50 million. Your staunch support of war has us spending 10 times our nearest military spending rival and we're constantly at war. Your kiss ass approach toward work has us working more and making less. Your support of oil company propaganda has us speeding into climate change.You believed in NAFTA and now 470 of the Fortune 500 are throwing you the bird and making it in China. Stop thinking that life will be better if you just kiss ass.


Can you ever back up your arguments, or must you always use your stock Marxist talking points.?

Obviously he must use the stock Marxist arguments. Nice throwing in the Sal Alinsky part about demonizing the person if you can't argue facts too.
When you get facts and figures backing up your arguements about healthcare, the war and NAFTA then I'll listen. Otherwise it is just claptrap about right versus left not right versus wrong.
I'll help you with health care. Gee thanks Obama. My health insurance went up $100 a month after you passed your ridiculous plan. Really helpful to the middle class.
Just as Japan had its day and its backslide, China will be doing them same thing in the next year. Forbes magazine is advising against long term investments there in "China's Coming Inflation Nightmare." So much for the Fortune 500 running over there to lose value as inflation runs rampant.
Lastly, what part of public employees make twice what employees in the private sector don't you understand? Its a fact---no matter how much you carp and complain. Find a study that says different---not a union one either.
Geez, I don't know why I bother.

Justin and Craig, you are both right. Over simplification of guiding principals and ecomnomic rules/guidelines and human greed and poor government policy created this tsunami of a mess in our Country.

Low wage low skill public employees make a little more than their private sector counterparts and college educated public sector employees a little less than their private sector counterparts.Keep in mind that some of the low wage employers also engage in wage theft.

I always thought Morgan was related to the Kennedys, she looks like one of the clan but apparently she's Swedish.

Name the "Low wage low skill public employees" that "make a little more than their private sector counterparts." Give me the public sector wage and compare it to the private sector. While doing so, also remember to include the boatload of benefits that the private sector employeees will never see.
While you are at it, what the heck is wage theft? As I see it, how can you steal wages from someone who consents to work for it? Do they raid their house while they are sleeping?

It's amazing that San Leandro is in shape poor financial shape with all of these millionaires commenting here. Why does Manuel and Justin Agrella hate themselves? Why are they shilling for big business and getting nothing in return?

You all should be ashamed of yourselves for not standing with city employees and any unions if not with the hope they will stand with you when you no longer are paid a living wage while working more hours and fewer benefits.

What do you not understand about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Recognize YOU'RE on the poor side of the ledger. Every one of you. Either go invent the next Google or STFU and get back in line!

Justin the info on low wage public and private sector workers comes from The Truth About Public Sector Employees in California which you can Google.
All working people should have benefits. Either the employer or the state should cover the cost. When the state does it, they're buying in bulk so they can negotiate a discount.


Hahahahahahh! Craig, you are kidding right? A UC Berkeley white paper justifying their own high wages and benefits!? They even had to conclude that they were at least even when they actually included their benefits---which is a lie they are highly overcompensated with their benefits.
All working people can get benefits. It is just a matter of cost, who pays, what the level of benefits are and if rationing accurs.
Everyone in England has health benefits. They are basically useless unless you have a cold though. Bypass surgery, cancer surgery and first generation drugs are rationed to the point that you will not get the drugs that could save your life and you will be on a six month waiting list for any procedure that is worse then removing a hang nail. Yes and they even have death panels that determine if your life is worth saving. All of this is paid for with exhorbitant taxes levied on workers. Talk to your average middle-aged Londoner and he will tell you that it stinks. They travel here to get their procedures and rugs that they can't get done there. The same with Canada.
Their bulk discount is worthless when you can't get care before you die. Obviously you have never been sick and abroad. It is a nightmare of waiting in line after line.
The Mail in the UK has an article on the great care NHS gives entitled:
"Up to 1,200 needless deaths, patients abused, staff bullied to meet targets... yet a secret inquiry into failing hospital says no one's to blame"

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253438/Mid-Staffordshire-NHS-hospital-routinely-neglected-patients.html#ixzz19cwnxPdR
I am not signing up for that kind of ridiculous mess. I'll take what we have easily. That is exactly the same kind of thing that would happen here if government ran healthcare. It would be lousy and they would cover up for themselves.
Some minor reforms for pre-existing conditions and the like could be made but we have the best system right now. Rich people from all over the world come here for the best care they can get---even some Canadaian officials.
The employer should cover the costs eh? Then you decry companies moving offshore. Gee, guess why? It is the cost of benefits foisted upon them by people like you.

Can not wait until you can not get or can not afford health benefits and have no where to go. Our system is good but it is breaking and many companies are on the brink of not being able to afford to pay for employees any longer, so who does? Do only government workers and the rich get health care??? Something is rotting around here and it is your self righteous, know it all attitudes. Shame on you for your over simplification and lack of empathy and caring.

We're Number one in terms of cost but only 37th in terms of quality.This is according to the World Health Organization. France is#1 and spends half what we spend. Very good for French businesses. Portugal is #12, the UK is 18th.We need our health care to be competitive with global competition. People who have good health care policies have quality care but too too many people either have no health care or have been bankrupted by our system.


In Craig's world a doctor or surgeon who spends over a decade in school; undergraduate, post graduate, internship, etc. should be paid squat while all government workers should be showered with pay. Black is white and white is black.

Empathy and caring have nothing to do with what works or doesn't. If you think making health care go the socialist route then you are going to end up getting abused, ignored and bullied by the Health Service. Foisting that upon senior citizens is an affront to humanity. There are many plans out there that extend better care for less money than we have now and they don't involve relying on government every step of the way.
Craig, you get your stats from stilted and biased sources again. By their numbers Cuba and Russia are way up there at the top when we know that is just a Potemkin Village. That Michael Moore was duped by. Castro won't even let his people see that movie because they know it is completely false and would say so.
We have the best healthcare on the planet with the most cutting edge treatments available that save people's lives while other countries don't even have close to that or will let you die. Here every single city with a hosptial has an MRI machine within a few miles of them. In Socialized medicine countries it is impossible to get an MRI without waiting for six months or more and traveling dozens of miles out of your way. Yeah right, we really need to emulate these healthcare systems.
If there are people outside of our healthcare system who cannot afford it then tailor something for them----they already have Medi-Cal here. In other states they can take care of it the same way. You don't need to throw out the good with the bad. It makes no sense. I prefer to raise everyone to the same level rather than lower the bar for everyone when it comes to healthcare.

You are wrong Justin ,Russia is ranked 130th and Cuba at 39th .The beauty of all the good systems is that they cover everyone, that they costs less than ours which helps them in global competition and that though they have what you crudely call socialistic , they all have their own national approaches toward providing health care.Their own national accent.

I am wrong. What evidence do you posit that I am wrong? Please show me the evidence that Cuba's hospitals are clean and well managed not dirty, hell holes that are understaffed and the whole country doesn't even have one MRI machine.
Gee that's great they cover everyone with an inadequate system that does the minimum.
It is socialized medicine no matter how you try to run away from it. It is by definiton run by the government not private industry. I don't care which country it is. The acccent is always shoddy care. Americans deserve better than a one size fits all trash system where people are pushed around like pieces of meat not human beings.
Our system covers everyone where have you been? No hospital or doctor can refuse service to sick people it is posted on every emergency room wall of every hospital in the country. It is just a matter of who pays. Insurance companies pay for those insured, the goverment(taxpayers) pays for the low income people and the government(taxpayers) pays for government workers. One way or the other we end up paying in a round about way.
As for Cuba's real healthcare system:one of the greatest fallacies about the so called 'Cuban Revolution' has to do with healthcare.
Foreigners who visit Cuba, are fed the official line from Castro's propaganda machine: "All Cubans are now able to receive excellent healthcare, which is also free." But the truth is very different. Castro has built excellent health facilities for the use of foreigners, who pay with hard currency for those services.
Argentinean soccer star Maradona, for example, has traveled several times to Cuba to receive treatment to combat his drug addiction. But Cubans are not even allowed to visit those facilities. Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.
In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.
If you saw the pictures smuggled out of those places you would know very well that they should be rated lower than 539th in the world.

There you have it, right from the dipsticks mouth; "the 'beauty of the good systems is they cover everyone'" As long as it's free Craig couldn't care less about the place. To him and all the other myopic socialists; it's all about "Free", if it's crap on a shingle served at 120 degrees then it's fine by them.

It's laughable how simpletons like Craig spout off incompresensible nonsense about how socialized medicine is good for business yet these places all have unemployment twice what the USA has or had, when our unemployment rate was 5% France, Spain, Germany et al was 10%, now ours is 10% and those countries rate is 15-20%. But since healthcare is "free" that's fine by Craig and the rest of the children.


Good conversation , say anything you want, fill it with insults, name calling, make up whatever facts you want. Black is white white is black.

Above; That's exactly what Craig does. Thanks for pointing it out.

Why must we bring "empathy" and "caring" into this or any subject? We are dealing with reality. Let's deal with the problems within the confines of the current system, the best in the World, rather than attempting to lower everyone into a state of mediocrity.

Lets talk about reality...how did we end up with so many "nutbags", oops, I mean ultra Conservative and ultra Progressive posters on here? The pragmatic middle is where reality is really at, not the unrealistic idealistic sorts at each end of the political spectrum!

Almost 80 percent of Democrats consider themselves progressives.Most Republicans consider themselves "nut jobs" and most moderates consider themselves better than other people, beyond real opinions, pragmatic opportunists.

Free as in freeway or free public libraries. Manuel believes that you should raise costs in health care, housing, credit and transportation, so companies have to pay people more so they can be more competitive with other countries.Few if any companies are patriotic. Manuel wants to help business by increasing their workers cost of living.


Once again Craig, you make no sense. You're increasing the cost of doing business in the form of increased taxes and regulations then you attempt to say Manuel wants to do that? You need help. Get it.

Oh and Craig, it was that greedy capitalist Andrew Carnegie who built thousands of "free" libraries. Something none of your socialist douche bags have ever done. Or that douchebag Warren Buffet either.

When your new insurance plan year begins, you have new rights.
1-Insurers can't drop coverage if you get sick.
2-Lifetime limits on coverage are prohibited.
3-Your children can stay on your plan until 26.
4-Your insurer must spend at least 80% of every dollar you pay in premiums on medical care.
5-You can't be charged cost-sharing for most preventative services,
such as screenings and immunizations.
6-You have access to a new, independent appeals process if you are denied coverage by an insurance company.
Sounds pretty good to me, but I'm a moderate, not a right-wing nut!

Above you are a wing-nut. First of all individual policies for those under 30 are the cheapest policies out there. By allowing people to stay on their parents coverage they are only adding to the expenses of the already expensive group policies.
How is "cost-sharing" ie co-pays a bad thing?

Everything you just listed will add to the cost of insurance. We already have policies with no lifetime limits; they're called HMO's and MANY people like Kaiser and HMO's.

I like #1 about not dropping coverage #4 on overhead vs.medical expenditures. The old backward, inefficient government spends less than 5% for overhead on MediCare. Admitting there is room for improvement with overhead could be a big step forward.

How can the government claim it only spends "5%" on overhead? It's a taxpayer funded entity. It doesn't have to go out and market and sell policies, have an actuarial department. Craig, you attempt to paint everything is such a simple matter.

Government can claim it spends only that much because it is not held to the same standards that private health care companies are of course. They don't include various costs involved in getting the money to pay medicare and various unfunded libilities like actually borrowing the money to make the lousy program work---funded by us now, our children later and our grandchildren further on. Debt funding in short.
The truth is that the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) published “Rhetoric vs. Reality: Comparing Public and Private Health Care Costs,” authored by Mark Litow, a consulting actuary with Milliman & Robertson (now
Milliman, Inc.), and CAHI’s Technical Committee. The study found that when all of the hidden costs and certain related unfunded liabilities were included, Medicare and Medicaid administrative costs with the related unfunded liabilities were significantly higher (26.9 percent) than the private sector (16.2 percent).
They also mention:
"We also raise an important, although heretofore unrecognized, issue that gives Medicare an inherent advantage on administrative costs. Medicare calculates administrative costs as a ratio of identified administrative costs divided by claims. In 2003, the average medical cost for Medic are was estimated to be about $6,600 per
person per year (because of the nature of Medicare’s beneficiary pool of older and
disabled people), while the average medical cost for private health insurance was $2,700 per person per year. Because of the higher cost per
beneficiary, Medicare’s method of calculation makes administrative costs, albeit
unintentionally, appear to be lower than they really are."
Unintentionally is their word not mine. I am sure they do it purposely so that it makes them look good. That way they can say: gee, look at how much money we can save if everyone were on government heralthcare. When we all know this cannot be true. Government healthcare is just like everything else run by the government---poorly done and inefficient. The Post office, DMV and a host of other agencies prove that easily.
Economies of scale may work in private industry but for some reason the government can never run cheaper because it is larger and has better purchasing power to take advantage of quantity discouts etc.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are just like unionized government workers; neither have any respect for the taxpayer and both believe that the money is theirs in the first place.

They drive by your house every day and laugh at you.

The appeal of Single Payer and other systems is that they are a lot cheaper and provide universal coverage.Instead of wasting money on marketing. Health care is a unique industry. With most products you choose to buy it or not . You don't choose to be sick or not.

Single Payer is "cheaper" because it is inferior. Plain and simple. For those who on't want to take any responsibility for themselves then of course free healthcare is appealing. Leeches suck blood and life off of others. There is nothing wrong with "profits". Sorry

Too much profit or profit driven health care not that successful. Reagan economics also proven worthless.
Morgan Mac Rose is rumored to be running for Assembly with Tavares as her press sec.

I work for $30,000-a-year or $25-a-word, whichever is higher.

Good conversation above, but what's the alternative? Republicans are planning to quickly push through a repeal of health care reform. How are we going to fix the problem if we go back to the old way of funding health care?

Profit driven anything ALWAYS brings about the best results. Plain and simple. Introduce competition and a better product will result.

That's why we had the financial meltdown

Again you idiot, you have no idea about the financial meltdown, so shut your piehole and go watch repeats of Jerry Brown's inaugaration.

As I said before Steven, what the Republicans want to do is to remove the cancer that is Obamacare and replace it with reforms that actually target what is wrong with the system without completely gutting the largely good that we have now. Likely they will just vote to repeal it as there really aren't enough votes in the Senate and even if there were there is still the Obama gatekeeper.
What will really happen is that it will just be defunded and overturned by the courts. Any scheme that requires people to engage in commerce against their will and fines and/or taxes them for not doing so is against the law. Since this ill written and conceived law is not separable the whole thing will be thrown out when it actually works its way through the courts.
Let's face it, because of the above facts ($6,600 per person per year (because of the nature of Medicare’s beneficiary pool of older and disabled people), while the average medical cost for private health insurance was $2,700 per person per year.) we can be assured that the federal government plan will cost three times that of any private plan out there.
In closing, let me share a few poignant quotes from Nobel economist Milton Freidman in reference to government control of industry:

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.

Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.

and lastly:
Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.

Regards to all,


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