Friday, July 17, 2009
It would make me wonder and perhaps ask questions.
From the RTD 2008 Financial statement:
Based on actuarial valuations performed as of January 1, 2008, the RTD Plan had no unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities, and the Union Plan had unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities of $39,461,146. The actuarial value of assets for both plans is determined by spreading gains and losses over a five-year period.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
A short Independence Day vacation and we're back.
Well, California is certainly in the news and we've read that banks will no longer accept California's IOU's after yesterday. Very, very bad news for California.
No economist in this neck of the woods and we certainly can't begin to understand all the causes, which we're sure are very complex. I can use my simple mind to make simple comparisons that even I can understand.
California and Texas - Numbers 1 and 2 in population and (as of 2008) economy. We know how California is faring - bankrupt - but how bout Texas which we hear little about:
California - $25 billion in the hole
Texas - An $11 billion surplus in 2008
California unemployment - Around 12%
Texas - 7.1%
California Income Tax 1% to 9% + 1% surcharge over $1 mill.
Texas - Nada, zero, 0, zip, nil
California Sales Tax - 8.25% + 1% for each district in effect
Texas Sales Tax - 6.2% state + up to 2% local
California gasoline Tax - 63.9 cents per gallon
Texas - 38.4 cents per gallon
Perhaps most telling is that California is losing jobs and while unemployment slowly climbs in Texas, they are still creating jobs, nearly 100,000 new jobs in 2008. Are people moving to the Great State of Texas?
Ain't them Texicans a bunch of redneck hicks and not nearly as so-phis-ticated as a Californian?
In the news, Texas Governor Rick Perry recently refused $555,000,000 in federal "stimulus" funds and backed a resolution affirming Texas States Rights under the 10th Amendment. Are we heading for a show-down as Texas wants to protect it's surplus and $1.2 trillion economy (12th in the world) from attack by a liberal, corrupt administration beholding to every special interest group and full of great ideas like cap and trade, EFCA & one-size-fits-all health care?
As stated, we don't claim to understand the complexities of the California economic woes other than to say: "You can't continue to spend more than you make and expect to stay in business". A couple of points we note:
California has lavish benefits for millions, including many illegals, and while you won't starve in Texas, neither will the state dole out large sums to anyone who asks.
California is heavily unionized and Texas is a right-to-work state. Any correlation?
As I remember from my childhood "Long Horns and Long Necks - Where Else But Texas?"
YeeHaw & giddy-up!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
H.R. 413 - PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE COOPERATION ACT OF 2009
Yet another misnamed, blatant attempt to payoff the labor unions for the vast amounts of money "donated" to corrupt labor friendly politicos. The bill would force municipalities and special districts to recognize and negotiate with a police or fire department union.
Forget states rights and any concept of home rule. Forget that the people who pay the bills, the local taxpayers, might like a say in how their money is spent. Forget that these public service employees already have a valid employment contract, willingly signed, and that in many cases the voters approve unionization if asked.
Nope, not enough according to the unions desperate for new members. We need a federal law because the people might not agree with us. Very democratic!
Hopefully this abomination will die in committee and we'll see another payback quashed.
Posted by Larry Seale at 12:41 PM
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
This year's co-winners: democrat Senators Max Bracus of Montana and Ted Kennedy of the state with too many bridges, both now clearly representing Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the other residents of Never NeverLand .
Dating myself I know. The prestigious Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award was a creation of the Rowan and Martin Laugh-In TV show from the sixties and was presented for dubious achievements, usually a really stupid idea.
And Messieurs Bracus and Kennedy have outdone even themselves with this plan! As reported by the site Vin Suprynowicz, the Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily, the dynamic duo would tax non-union employer provided health plans while leaving labor union health plans unscathed.
The Senators, scrambling to find a trillion or so dollars to fund a one-size-fits-all government health plan, want to tax the health benefits of the American worker. There are a couple of plus's as the distinguished leaders see it: raise a lot of money and make private plans even more expensive so the kick-in-the-teeth government plan is the only affordable option.
"Unfair!" was the collective labor union howl; "You'll hurt the movement because one of the major incentives to join a union are the health benefits we can negotiate" Understandable, after buying their government for untold millions ($400,000,000?), it hardly seems a fair return on investment. The two pooled their collective wisdom and came up with a brilliant compromise: tax health benefits for non-union workers and give the union members a special tax break. WOW! I can only say brilliant except.......
This is not Never NeverLand, Peter Pan does not exist (sorry kids) and Americans are a lot smarter than you'd like to believe. We agree that there is a mess in delivering health benefits and it is unacceptable that even one American does not have adequate coverage so First Transit Employee Rights Blog endorses our own health plan proposal.
Enroll every American in the Senate Health Plan! We understand that it's going to be REALLY expensive so to save money, the Senators would get the coverage they are proposing for the American public. We're still going to be a few trillion short so we're also proposing the "Hire a Senator part-time" program, all wages to go toward health care. I'd suggest $100,000 per hour for up to 20 hours per week per Senator. Good old fashioned American corruption - it's a win-win for everyone!
I am, without a doubt, an avid supporter of First Amendment protection for every citizen of the United States and would extend that protection to everyone in the world if I could!
A short while back, I called Legal And Safety Employer Research (LASER, Inc.) a fraud, not because I want to limit what they write but because LASER is a labor union (IRS 501 (c) 5) masquerading as a "public service" non-profit.
First Transit Employee Rights Blog had a visit from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and I think the door swings both ways. In my opinion, CEI is as big a non-profit fraud as LASER, the only difference is who pays the bills. A fraud not because I believe that their "facts"are wrong but because CEI presents their point of view without disclosing their funding sources; the U.S. Chamber of Commence, perhaps?
I applaud their "mission statement":
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a public interest group dedicated to free enterprise and limited government.
Just disclose "and paid for by big business" I'm sure that the key players believe in what they do - hell, hire me as one of the four who shared in over a millions bucks in compensation (2007 figures) and it would make it a lot easier for me to believe in anything you ask.
Posted by Larry Seale at 10:10 AM
Today's special guest is a visitor from McMahon, Berger, Hannah, Linihan, Cody & McCarthy
"St. Louis' largest law firm dedicated to a labor and employment law practice".
If there's anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate.
Ya'll come back now, ya hear.
Posted by Larry Seale at 8:54 AM
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I just wanted to say "Howdy" to the folks at Baum Sigman, a Chicago based law firm representing labor unions "throughout the midwest".
I'm a cooperative kind of guy and have no desire to cost the "union brothers and sisters" any extra money so if you made a paid visit to First Transit Employee Rights Blog, just let me know which union(s) you represent and I'll email you any post you might be interested in. Save a little money.
The problem I have is there's so much union corruption around Chicago, I can even begin to guess at who your clients are. Would someone like all past and future posts on any midwest union?
Posted by Larry Seale at 9:48 AM
Saturday, June 27, 2009
A short while back I did several posts on the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), the National Education Association (NEA) imposed trusteeship and the bankrupt Indiana State Teachers Association Trust Fund (blog search ISTA if interested).
I followed by posting a link to the Department of Labor Critical and Endangered Status Notice Page which list the Multi-employer Pension Plans (mostly union) reported to DOL as "critical or endangered" Is that a euphemism for broke?
I received a response telling me to keep my eyes open because this is just the tip of the iceberg and we'll see some radical changes in the government - labor movement -corporation - worker consanguinity. Hmmm - I thought we already had seen some radical changes with the government/UAW partnership in control of GM and Chrysler.
But the warning was deeper and more dire - I was told that many unions would need massive government hand-outs just to stay out of bankruptcy and that the union controlled pension funds were all on life support. Hell, we've bailed everyone else out, why discriminate against the unions?
Perhaps it's not PC to say that labor tried to buy government in the 2008 elections but what else do you call it? It might have even been a good investment - payback has already started and the indications are it will continue as long as Obama can come up with the candidates and bucks the unions need. Welcome to the Brave New World!
One thing I find ironic is my perception that the unions are attacking their own pension funds. I'm sure there are many reasons for the dismal state of the funds, mismanagement and corruption immediately come to mind, but I wonder how many of the funds include stock from the very corporations labor seems intent on destroying?
As an example, Joe Hansen of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) is behind a massive effort to organize WalMart, which is profitable, employs about 1.4 million people and plans on creating 22,000 new jobs this year. According to the UFCW, the evil giant is responsible for every malady know to mankind - including my beer gut and balding pate (thank gawd - I thought it was heredity and overindulgence)! One might wonder how much of the large UFCW investment portfolio, albeit down from $67,607,164 to $38,515,570 in 2008, is WalMart stock?
It all makes me shake my head in amazement and I only hope I live long enough to "See The NEW USA In My Government Motors Chevrolet"
"Ladies and Gentlemen - This is your pilot speaking - we've encountered turbulence, please fasten your seat belts".
Win, lose or draw, it's gonna be a hell of a ride!