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Tag Archives: politics

Today I happened on a great article by Scott Patrick Humphrey. It discusses the connections between big business and the US government, undeniable after reading the article.

Mr. Humphrey has obviously done some research and supports his arguments well. Another myth he dispels is that public employment is responsible for draining public funds and creating public debt.

According to the Current Population Survey-IPUMS by the Economic Policy Institute, the average compensation, including salary and benefits, by education level in the United States breaks down like this: if you have a high school education, in the private sector you make $50,596, in the public sector, $53,880. That is a difference of $3,284 in favor of public workers; a number that seems modest at best. If you have a bachelor’s degree you will garner $91,256 in the private sector and $68,290 in the public sector; a difference of $22, 966 in favor of private sector workers. With a professional degree the private sector worker gets $192,977, while the public sector equivalent gets $121,192, a difference of $71,785. There goes that idea. Yet while we fiddle and fight amongst ourselves, the game is afoot and we’re in the hole from the get-go. When is it enough? But ya know what? “… on average, 54 percent of state and local public sector workers hold at least a four-year degree compared to 35 percent of full-time private sector workers” (Jeffrey H. Keefe, Debunking the Myth of the Overcompensated Public Employee).

Another issue is the disappearance of pensions and health care.

But here are many of the facts that the tea-baggers have never seen, because facts are found in books. Let’s start with pensions: in 1988, 63 percent of workers in large private sector firms participated in defined benefit pension plans; last year it was 30 percent; pensions are disappearing. (BLS, National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the US for firms with more than 100 employees – retirement benefits)

Fewer firms are offering retiree health care benefits. Among firms that had 200 or more employees in 1988, 66 percent offered retirement health care; last year it was 28 percent. Apparently even if you work your whole life with a company, there is no guarantee you will be able to have care during the stage of life when you will need it most. (Kaiser Family Foundation; Employer Health Benefits 2010 Annual Survey)

This–of course–is another way to transfer income away from the middle class to the rich.

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Interesting story about a news broadcast yesterday–CNBC anchor implies US must support dictators to keep cheap oil flowing.

The recent political conflicts in North Africa seem to have prompted the story, especially the ongoing protests in Egypt. If the conflicts continue and spread to the Middle East, commentators claim that possible regime changes in places lie Saudi Arabia could send oil prices soaring to very high levels.

This is interesting to me because Americans now seem willing to admit that economics is more important to US politics than political ideals of democracy and freedom. For a long time, America has supported non-democratic monarchies because American companies–especially the oil companies–have business interests there. Simply put, supporting big business is much more important to the US government than the ideals on which the country was supposedly founded.

“One more thing,” Burnett remarked. “If this spreads, the United States could take a huge hit because democracy in a place like Saudi Arabia, you’ve talked about who might come in power, what that means for oil prices. They’re going to go stratospheric.”

“There’s no doubt about it,’ MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said. “No doubt about it!”