Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

worldwide drugstorepremarin with worldwide shipping valtrex canadaand Im buy in online pharmacy and bactrim generic and clomid new zealand no rx.viagra australia without prescription. And you can order propecia best of medications arimidex

FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

- Or -
Search blog archive

Edward Ring

The Unholy Trinity of Public Sector Unions, Environmentalists, and Wall Street

Taken at surface value, there ought to be minimal identity of interests between these three special interests. But if you follow the money and power instead of the rhetoric and stereotypes, you will find this unhealthy alliance is alive and thriving. For example, unions use “greenmail,” the threat of a lawsuit on environmentalist grounds, to block developments until the businesses involved concede to union demands. Once they back down, the environmental problem magically disappears.

California’s much vaunted high-speed rail and delta tunnel proposals are also examples of the unhealthy rapprochement between unions (public and private) and environmentalists. Because the construction unions, God bless ‘em, want thousands of good new construction jobs, and the only big projects that are environmentally correct are these monstrosities. The unions have a choice – fight the environmentalists in order to lobby for public works that actually yield economic benefits to society, or enjoy their considerable support for a couple of misguided mega-projects.

Beyond obvious examples, how unions, environmentalists, and America’s overbuilt financial sector collude –… Read More

Edward Ring

Public Pension Solvency Requires Asset Bubbles

The title of this post expresses what is probably the greatest example of a monstrous hypocrisy – that public employee unions, and the pension funds they control, are supposedly helping the American economy, and protecting the American people from “the bankers.” Overpriced “bubble” assets caused by banks offering low interest rates hurt ordinary working people in two ways – they cannot afford to buy homes, and they are denied any sort of viable low risk investment opportunity. But without an endlessly appreciating asset bubble,every public employee pension fund in the United States would go broke.

The inspiration for this post is a guest column published on April 27th in the Huffington Post entitled “The Real Retirement Crisis,” authored byRandi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. The totality of Weingarten’s column, a depressing plethora of misleading statistics and questionable assertions, compels a response:

Weingarten writes:“America has a retirement crisis, but it’s not what some people want you toRead More

Edward Ring

How Will “Ambush” Union Elections Affect Silicon Valley’s Libertarians?

Despite being one of the biggest strongholds of Democratic power in the United States, there are almost no unions representing private sector workers in the Silicon Valley. But a new NLRB ruling that takes effect next month is going to make it much easier to organize workers. Here, quoting from a March 26thInside Counselarticle entitled “Proposed ambush election rule from NLRB said to favor unions,” is a summary of the new rules:

Opponents to a union drive would have as few as 10 days to campaign against unionization – as opposed to the 42 days now given to them. Employers have to file a “Statement of Position” within seven days or lose the right to pursue any issues. Requiring nonunion employers to provide employee personal information such as home addresses, e-mail addresses, home phone numbers and cell phone numbers to the union. Ending a 25-day waiting period before holding an election. Letting workers vote even if eligibility is challenged. Legal action would have to wait until after the … Read More

Edward Ring

San Jose’s Public Safety Pensions – Reduce Now or Slash Later

“Once people get the facts, they do not support slashing people’s pensions.” – Dave Low, chairman, Californians for Retirement Security (Washington Post, February 25, 2014)

Really?

Making sure “people get the facts” is difficult when most “facts” the public sees are promulgated to the media by pension fund PR departments eager to preserve the torrent of taxpayers money flowing into their favored investment firms, along with PR firms representingtaxpayer-funded public sector unions whose primary reason to exist is to increase the wages and benefits of their members.

According to the most recent data available from the California State Controller – over $600 billion of taxpayer’s money is privately invested by public employee pension funds (Public Retirement Systems Annual Report, FYE 6-30-2011, released 5-22-2013, page xv, Figure 2),… Read More

Edward Ring

Government Unions Attack Free-Market Nonprofits via Pension Funds

“The AFT [American Federation of Teachers] will be looking more closely at those who are supporting the dismantling of defined benefit plans at the state and municipal level.”Ranking Asset Managers, A Retirement Security Report on Money Managers for Pension Fund Trustees, March 5, 2014

As reported in aWashington Examiner editorialon April 4th, the American Federation of Teachers – that’s “teachers union” in plain English – has circulated a pamphlet that:

“Calls on pension fund trustees to drop any investment managers that are tainted by connection to free-market nonprofits. They also want those same trustees to force any potential new managers to have to disclose any donations they may have made to the groups on AFT’s blacklist.”

That the AFT can circulate a document like this without generating an uproar in the media reflects a monstrous and tragic double-standard. Money supporting… Read More

Edward Ring

Construction Unions Should Fight for Infrastructure that Helps the Economy

One primary reason California has the highest cost-of-living (and cost of doing business) in America, combined with a crumbling infrastructure, is because California’s construction unions have allied themselves with environmental extremists and crony “green” capitalists, instead of fighting for what might actually help their state.

California’s construction unions ought to take a look around the rest of the country, where thousands of jobs are being created in the energy industries – really good jobs – doing something that actually helps ordinary people. Because the natural gas revolution unleashed inNorth Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio is creating thousands of jobs in those states at the same time as it lowers the cost of energy for consumers who struggle to make ends meet.

More generally, construction unions should remember that it is not only how much their own members earn that matters, but how much things cost everyone. If things cost less, you can make less yet enjoy the same standard of living. When unions fight for high paying jobs on projects that are useless, they only help… Read More

Edward Ring

Add ALL Public Workers to Social Security

“I think expanding Social Security benefits is incredibly important… the current Social Security benefits are not covering the cost of living for seniors.” – Shenna Bellows, Democrat, candidate for U.S. Senate, Maine, as quoted in Fiscal Times article “Liberal Dems’ New Goal: Boost Social Security Benefits,”

The debate over what role, if any, government should play in ensuring retirement security for all Americans, ought to be creating strange bedfellows.Liberal Democrats like Shenna Bellows want to expand Social Security. Many conservative Republicans want to reform public sector pensions by eliminating them in favor of individual 401K accounts. They ought to be working together.

There is only one equitable and affordable way to expand Social Security benefits, and that is by requiring all public sector employees, with no exceptions, to participate in Social Security from now on.

The reason for this is because Social Security, unlike typical public sector defined benefits, are progressive. This means… Read More

Edward Ring

Retirement Security in America – A Tale of Two Contracts

Two people walked into a bank, somewhere in California. Both individuals needed to prepare financially for their retirement. Both of them earned about $80,000 per year.

The first individual, Mr. Jones, was presented by the banker with a contract called “Social Security.” The contract read as follows:For as long as you work, you will give us 12.4% of your gross earnings, and we will invest the money. When you retire, we will pay you an annuity for as long as you live. Your annuity will be based on a guaranteed rate of interest – depending on how long you live – of about 1.5% per year, compounded! When you die, you will have nothing left of your investment to pass on to your heirs.

The second individual, Mr. Smith, was presented with a very different contract, called “Collective Bargaining Agreement.” It read:For as long as you work, you will give us 5.0% of your gross earnings, and we will invest the money. When you retire, we will pay you an annuity for as long as you live.Your annuity will be based on a guaranteed rate of interest of exactly 7.5% per year, compounded. When you die, you too will have nothing left of your investmentRead More

Page 21 of 28« First...10...1920212223...Last »