We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I put this on my site last week. Definitely a great clip. Here's my accompanying text: _______________________________________
- I presume they sacked whoever dressed Drew in a jacket with vertical pinstripes. That's breaking, like, Video Rule #1. Because video deals in "lines", rather than tiny picture frames (like movies), it's extremely sensitive to both horizontal and vertical lines, as amply demonstrated here.
- The best scene was the auto mechanic — someone in a profession emblematic of the middle class — saying, "There's really no middle class, anyway." Uh-huh. Then he goes on to say, "Seems that the middle class always get squeezed" — as he tries to decide which of his seven expensive motorcycles he wants to take to the lake that day.
- Best line: "It's not the high cost of living, it's the cost of living high."
- The one point I would quibble with is the expert's comment on how houses today are "two and a half times larger" than houses a hundred years ago. Maybe he's thinking of some Southern shanties, or the congestion of a large city, but my feeling is that the houses of a hundred years ago were, on average, far larger than the pill boxes they slimmed down to fifty years later. The houses I visited as a child in the 50's (that is, the ones that had been built over the previous fifty years) in Wichita all seemed enormous (6 to 8 rooms seemed average), as were the average houses in New England when I lived there in my 20's. Remember, large families were the norm a hundred years ago. It wasn't until the post-war era that the average fell dramatically. _______________________________________
Apparently, Reason.tv has a whole series of clips on what I suppose should be called the war against the war against the middle class.
I don't understand the rationale behind a public employee union. If a union exists to protect labor from capital, how does that apply when the capital is not private industry but rather the taxes paid by the public? Public employees organize against the public? Why? How can the public exploit a worker?
Anyway, the unions are about to bankrupt Vallejo, which will be followed in short order by more California towns:
The city's general fund deficit is projected to reach nearly $14 million for fiscal year 2008-2009. In a report to the City Council last week, City Manager Joseph Tanner said the city faces a $10.1 million general fund operating deficit for the current fiscal year and a negative available fund balance of $5.9 million on June 30, 2008.
"Based upon the updated financial projections, the current estimate for insolvency is late April 2008," Tanner said.
"It may become necessary for staff to recommend that the City Council consider filing and pursuing Chapter 9 bankruptcy in the event the city is unable to meet its existing obligations with its existing revenues," Tanner said in the report.
The city is trying to modify its existing contracts and asking for salary rollbacks from with police, fire, electrical workers management and administrative and managerial employees. The contracts expire in 2010 and the labor groups are not required to make any concessions. City employees' salaries and benefits comprise 87 percent of the city's general fund budget, Tanner said.
City officials and union leaders said 21 veteran police and firefighters retired suddenly last week out of fear the city will declare bankruptcy and they will not be able to receive accrued vacation and sick pay buy-outs that would cost an additional $4 million.
The city currently has a $135 million liability for the present value of retiree benefits already earned by active and retired employees and an additional $6 million a year as employees continue to vest and earn this future benefit, Tanner said.
Council members Joanne Schivley and Stephanie Gomes, who have taken a hard stance against the unions, have scheduled a Town Hall community meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday at a photography studio at 733 Tennessee St. to discuss the city's financial dilemma and prospect of bankruptcy.
Gomes said she and Schivley wanted the meeting to be held tonight at City Hall but one of the council members pulled the item from the agenda.
"We felt it was important to do it anyway so the public could hear and have a discourse on the budget," Gomes said.
"Bankruptcy is an option of last resort but there definitely is a chance it could happen," she said this afternoon.
City officials met with union representatives Monday.