Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's All The Unions' Fault!

In the first of an ongoing series of posts, in which I will point out the ridiculousness of the right wing's attack on unions has being the problem with the economy, I would just point out Fred Robertson, TomoTherapy's exiting CEO:
Robertson received a pay package that totaled $2.13 million, including $462,600 in salary, a $623,000 bonus paid in March 2011, and restricted stock valued at $1 million.

That's a 46.7 percent increase over 2009, when Robertson's package was $1.45 million, including a $450,000 salary, $138,000 bonus and $850,000 worth of stock.

Under terms of his severance agreement, if Robertson's job ends as a result of a change in ownership of TomoTherapy, he will get three times his current $475,200 salary, or $1,425,600, and three times his bonus, also $1,425,600. He will be covered for three years of health insurance, receive $10,000 for outplacement services and his stock options will be vested, which means he will be able to use them right away to buy stock in the company. TomoTherapy's SEC filing says the package is worth $4,720,193, as of Dec. 31, 2010.
But this concentration of wealth is not an issue according to the right. The real problem is the guy making $12 an hour making sure the parks are clean, the grass mowed and the bathrooms are usable.

At least Robertson would be able to afford a $6400 toilet, if he was into that sort of thing.  Meanwhile the parks worker is probably wondering if he'll be able to meet that month's rent.

And you know that Robertson isn't an isolated case.

I some times have a hard time that they even believe the garbage they are trying to feed us.


  1. For a fair discussion you must distinguish between the public unions who live off unrepresented taxpayers and private unions. Refusal to admit that reality is why the voters will not listen. Public unions are not the same as private unions. Public unions elect their bosses and both of them screw the taxpayers. If we start dealing with the limitations of the taxpayers, especially the property tax payers, we may be able to come out ahead. Continue to ignore that 800 pound gorilla and the public unions will lose everything.

  2. Green, the nicest response I have is that you're penny-wise and pound foolish. Back in the Eisenhower administration, the top federal tax bracket was north of 90%. Since 2002, the federal bracket has been at 35% and the rate of capital gains is 15%

    A quarter of ALL income in the U.S. is made by the top 1%. That's where the problem is. A large percentage of that incomes doesn't CIRCULATE back into the economy. It gets eaten up by exotic Wall Street investments that have no UNDERLYING economic value. See most investments that use "collateralized debt obligation." Those are mortgage backed securities.

    You're a pawn of the top 1% who ONLY want the price of bribing government to decrease. If you want to get qualified police officers and firefighters, you have to PAY them. The same is true for State office workers who control access to benefits.

  3. Greenc, read Joseph Stiglitz's "Of the 1%" in Vanity Fair. Back in 2001 Prof. Stiglitz won the Nobel Prize for Economics. Unregulated monopolies and oligopolies are the enemy of competition, meritocracy, innovation, and capitalism. Read the JS' John Schmid's excellent series "Patents Pending." Unregulated monopolies and oligopolies have turned off the engine of U.S. meritocracy, the Patent Office. Under existing law and leveraging their size with armies of patent lawyers, they can block or steal any patent they want. One of their tricks (Apple, Microsoft, Google) is to flood with Patent Office with all kinds of spurious applications.

    OT, please by all means give us your "green" agenda.

  4. Greenc, can you also explain to me why Charlie Sykes canonizes the Koch brothers for putting their own naked profit first? These are two guys who EACH inherited BILLIONS from their Dad.

    Yet, when the unions behave according to the rules of capitalism, "free-markets," they're vilified.

    Greenc, you can't have it both ways. If you want "free" capital markets (and I do), you have to have "free" labor markets. Physicians, lawyers, tenured faculty, accountants, surveyors, .... all use licensing and regulation to cut supply. That drives demand and puts a floor underneath their wages.

  5. Green-

    Don't the business people and their employees also vote? And don't they also donate money to both the politicians and to the third party groups?

    The business groups elect the people that give them contracts, tax breaks, grants, etc. Aren't they screwing over the tax payers even more, since they aren't offering any services to the public unless they can profit from them on top of the tax dollars they receive?

  6. Umm, who lowered the tax rate in the very early 1960's? Could have it been JFK? Ding, ding, you are right.
    Right now, firefightgers in Clark County NV., where I live average well over $100,000 and many make $200,000 and more. Metro officers make way more than $100,000 on average. I think we can lower those wages in jobs where you don't even need a college degree. Casper, do you thinks those wages are in line with the average person?
    Sorry, but you can give us all your bs, but the bottom line is jealousy. The liberals are jealous of people's success.