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Tag Archives: transfer

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.


gmThe NY Times reports that GM Adds Workers and Shifts as Demand Surges. Due mostly to the Cash for Clunkers program, the US auto industry looks like it is recovering. Cash for Clunkers was sold as a program to reduce emissions, help the economy, and restore manufacturing jobs, but does it really?

Many people in the US seem to think that good for business means good for the economy. That is another fallacy that is fairly easy to understand. Let us take a look at what is really going on.

Cash for clunkers is basically a subsidy to car manufacturers. People get a new car, but industry ends up with the money. Where does the money come from? Ultimately, the taxpayer. Given that the government is already deep in debt, the extra borrowing increases interest rates, and that is a great deterrent to private investment. Emission reduction? New cars must get 22 miles to the gallon to qualify. Sorry, but that is a very low standard to set for a program that comes at the expense of consumer income and potential investment in other areas of the economy.

Cash for clunkers is not a program for emission reduction, not a program for the economy, not a program for jobs. It is only a transfer of income from the worker to industry.