Tag Archives: wisconsin

“If you like this, you’ll love Obamacare!”

The title is what I should have announced to the crowd as I left the Department of Motor Vehicles when getting my licensed renewed (we have to do that in person every few years). As you might expect, the lines were very long (2+ hour wait for a very simple process) and there wasn’t enough parking or seats.

And keep in mind that while most businesses have to work hard to predict how many customers will come in on a given day, the DMV has it pretty easy. What could be more predictable than renewals? And these are the same government organizations that charge you extra to pay online, even though that saves time, money and fossil fuels for all involved.

So the question for anyone in favor of Obamacare is, “What makes you think that your healthcare service will improve?” There will be no incentives for them to perform any better. Who cares if you don’t like your service? Where else will you go? And it won’t just be your time, it will be your health. They’ll give you what they want to, when they want to, and any complaints you have will be far removed from anyone with the power to do anything about it.

And if you don’t know that Obamacare will necessarily lead to “death panels” and forced abortions (“either abort or pay for 100% of the costs yourselves, in cash”) then you don’t know how these people work.

Friendly tip for the guy wearing the “Drunk as sh!t” t-shirt: Maybe you should pick out something else when you are coming to get your license.

Good doom.

In fact, the best doom I’ve heard of in a long time — Governor Walker’s Victory Spells Doom For Public Sector Unions – Forbes.

In 1959 Wisconsin became the first state to allow collective bargaining by government employees. The projected cost of supporting Baby Boomer union retirees now threatens to bankrupt the state, as it does many others. Scott Walker ran for office promising change. The fiscal medicine he is administering may be bitter, but it looks like it is starting to work.  The state budget has been balanced.  The unemployment rate has been dropping and is now below the national average. Property taxes are down. Fraudulent sick leave policies—which allowed employees to call in sick and then work the next shift for overtime pay—have been ended. The government has stopped forcibly collecting union dues from workers’ paychecks.

It gets better:

Best of all, the myth that union bosses represent their members’ interests has been exposed as a lie. Now that union dues are voluntary, tens of thousands of union members have stopped paying them.  Membership in the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) has dropped by half. Membership in the state’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is down by over a third. Given unions’ influential role in most elections, the national implications of this trend are staggering.

Walker’s message is clear: The key to bringing balance back to public sector labor relations and balance state budgets is to break the iron triangle of closed-shop mandatory unionization, compulsory dues collection, and oversized campaign donations to politicians that promise to do the unions’ bidding. If other governors take his cue and take up the cause, that giant sucking sound you hear will be the air coming out of union bosses’ bloated political action budgets.

. . .

The power of private sector unions was long ago broken by many heavily unionized companies going bankrupt. While this was painful for both workers and shareholders, the economy motored on as nimbler non-union competitors picked up the slack. This approach is problematic for the public sector because bankrupt state and local governments cannot be replaced by competitors waiting in the wings. Yes, citizens can always vote with their feet, emptying out cities like Detroit, leaving the blighted wreckage behind. But isn’t Walker’s targeted fiscal retrenchment less painful than scorched-earth abandonment?

Chicago machine candidate Barack Obama rode into office to the tune of Hail to the Chief, promising the unions that backed him the gift of card check elections, ending the secret ballot that shields employees from union intimidation. He may well ride into retirement to the tune of On Wisconsin as the era of closed shop unionism comes to an end.

Hopefully this will embolden other governors to scale back the ridiculous, unsustainable union wages and benefits. If other states will follow the Wisconsin lead all at once then the unions won’t be able to channel all their $$ to just one state. Public sector unions should be illegal. You shouldn’t be able to donate a small amount to your boss so he can take a large amount from your ideological foes to give to you, and then repeat the process over and over.  And remember that many of those public sector union employees are indoctrinating the students in their Liberalism.

Coming soon to a country near you

It is just a matter of time for any entitlement state.  People will vote for free money (well, free to them, at least) and would rather see the country go down in flames (literally and figuratively) than give up some of their extravagant benefits.  Via Greek lawmakers approve austerity bill as Athens burns.  (Hat tip: Lone Wolf Archer
)

The Greek parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.

Yep.  That’s what unions and entitled people do.  Remember Wisconsin?

Cinemas, cafes, shops and banks were set ablaze in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought riot police outside parliament.

. . .

“Vandalism, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won’t be tolerated,” he told parliament as it prepared to vote on the new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a chaotic bankruptcy.

Papademos told lawmakers shortly before they voted that they would be gravely mistaken if they rejected the package that demands deep pay, pension and job cuts, as this would threaten Greece’s place in the European mainstream.

Too late, I’m afraid.

“It would be a huge historical injustice if the country from which European culture sprang … reached bankruptcy and was led, due to one more mistake, to national isolation and national despair,” he said.

It will be a greater historical injustice if politicians on both sides succeed in destroying the U.S. because they were too gutless and/or incompetent to cut entitlements while we still have time.

“We are facing destruction. Our country, our home, has become ripe for burning, the centre of Athens is in flames. We cannot allow populism to burn our country down,” conservative lawmaker Costis Hatzidakis told parliament.

The air in Syntagma Square outside parliament was thick with tear gas as riot police fought running battles with youths who smashed marble balustrades and hurled stones and petrol bombs.

Remember this important graph.  The real purpose of government — defense, keeping an orderly society and manage a reliable currency — could be more than paid for with our current tax receipts.  But the entitlement spending dwarfs those costs and ensure that entitlement spending will grow.

 

Remember the cycle: Politicians and public sector unions funnel cash to each other — cash that they got from taxpayers.  They have no reason to change anything, and every reason to grow.

We need to elect some adults who will do something about this.

Two easy pictures: How the welfare state begins and ends

It is disappointing to see how people think the Greece situation is some sort of anomaly that could never happen here. But it is only a matter of time. Look at the reactions in Wisconsin and Occupy Wall Street when the entitlement crowd was asked to give up a small part of their higher-than-market-rate benefits.

See Two Pictures that Perfectly Capture the Rise and Fall of the Welfare State:

These images are remarkably accurate. The welfare state starts with small programs targeted at a handful of genuinely needy people. But as  politicians figure out the electoral benefits of expanding programs and people figure out the that they can let others work on their behalf, the ratio of producers to consumers begins to worsen.

Eventually, even though the moochers and looters should realize that it is not in their interest to over-burden the people pulling the wagon, the entire system breaks down.

Then things get really interesting. Small nations such as Greece can rely on permanent bailouts from bigger countries and the IMF, but sooner or later, as larger nations begin to go bankrupt, that approach won’t be feasible.

Here are some lessons from the European crisis that would help us, if only the voters would come to their senses and elect some leaders with the courage to carry them out, instead of continually electing people who fail at basic economics:

1. Higher taxes lead to higher spending, not lower deficits. Miss Morandotti looks at the evidence from Europe and shows that politicians almost always claim that higher taxes will be used to reduce red ink, but the inevitable result is bigger government. This is a lesson that gullible Republicans need to learn – especially since some of them want to acquiesce to a tax hike as part of the “Supercommitee” negotiations.

2. A value-added tax would be a disaster. This was music to my ears sinceI have repeatedly warned that the statists won’t be able to impose a European-style welfare state in the United States without first imposing this European-style money machine for big government.

3. A welfare state cripples the human spirit. This was the point eloquently made by Hadley Heath of the Independent Women’s Forum in a recent video.

4. Nations reach a point of no return when the number of people mooching off government exceeds the number of people producing. Indeed, Miss Morandotti drew these two cartoons showing how the welfare state inevitably leads to fiscal collapse.

5. Bailouts don’t work. This also was a powerful lesson. Imagine howmuch better things would be in Europe if Greece never received an initial bailout. Much less money would have been flushed down the toilet and this tough-love approach would have sent a very positive message to nations such as Portugal, Italy, and Spain about the danger of continued excessive spending.

Really, this isn’t from The Onion

See Former Planned Parenthood official to lead attempt to reduce black infant mortality — Given that the #1 cause of death for blacks is abortion and that the abortion rate in the black community is 3x that of whites, the best way for her to help blacks would be to tell her former employer to stop doing abortions.

With the mortality rate for black Wisconsin infants among the highest and most unrelenting in the nation, that state’s largest public university has become co-manager of a $10 million grant to help prevent baby deaths.

Like the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership, the Wisconsin effort is “based on the assumption that the problem of African-American infant mortality extends back through the entire life course of African-American females,” said Dr. Philip Farrell, a semi-retired neonatologist, former University of Wisconsin medical school dean and co-chairman of the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families steering committee.

“We’re hoping this investment will allow us to attract and leverage more dollars so that we can support even more interventions,” said Lorraine Lathen, a global health consultant, program leader of the Lifecourse Initiative and the university’s chief partner in the project. “We’re looking at the non-health-related situations that can lead to poor birth outcomes. Our project is really focused on systems change, looking at increasing access to health care for women throughout their life span, not just waiting until they become pregnant.”

“There are multiple causes for the disparity, perhaps a dozen factors that we believe strongly influence pregnancy outcomes,” [Farrell] said, adding that he is encouraged by the present momentum in Wisconsin’s assault against infant deaths.

Missing from that article? Lathen formerly worked as the “vice president of education” at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

This effort to reduce infant deaths is led by a woman who engaged in infant deaths at Planned Parenthood.

. . .

What black women WON’T hear about:

– Planned Parenthood’s role in aborting black babies, who are aborted at four times the rate of their numbers in the Wisconsin population;

– How Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, felt about the black people: “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated;”

– How abortions increase the risk of low birth weight in future pregnancies by a factor of three, and of premature birth by a factor of two [both factors in infant deaths.]

Things you should know about Rick Perry

The Left is in full pants-wetting mode over Rick Perry joining the race, which shows just how afraid they are of him.  He should easily trounce Mitt Romney, the preferred candidate of the Leftist mainstream media.   Faux Christians play the pathetic “separation” and “hate” cards against him in their religion-disguised-as-politics charade, all the while ignoring people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis who are meeting directly with Obama to peddle their false gospel.

Perry isn’t perfect, of course, but my understanding is that Jesus isn’t running in 2012.  Therefore, we need to pick the least-imperfect person.   There are a lot of Republican candidates I like, but I think Perry would be a fine choice.  I hope that when the Republican candidate beats Obama that he or she puts most of the rest of the field in high level cabinet spots.

I urge you to bookmark Seventeen (17) things that critics are saying about Rick Perry, where someone actually did some real research on all the claims being thrown at Perry.  I thought it was pretty unbiased and noted where Perry has made mistakes.  But even his mistake on Gardasil was overblown, and unlike most politicians — including our President — he admitted his mistake.

He is strongly pro-life, which is a huge plus.

Here is my favorite from the list, which uses real, live facts to show how Texas education is better across the board (whites and minorities) than the national average, way better than unionized states like Wisconsin and how Perry’s opponents are

6. Texas ranks poorly in educational spending and high school graduations

That statement is true. Texas does rank near the bottom of generalized rankings in spending per student and high school graduations, but as usual, those rankings alone are misleading. The statement is intended to imply that the state does a poor job of educating its students and therefore its Governor, Rick Perry is to blame. It’s just another two-for-one Texas/Perry smear.

With Perry as governor, how does education in Texas really compare with other states?

To see how Texas stacks up, we’ll compare Texas to Wisconsin. We chose Wisconsin because earlier this year, during their sit-ins and demonstrations, Wisconsin teachers compared their state’s (supposed) #2 ranking in ACT/SAT test scores directly to Texas (at #47). Their reason for comparing to Texas was that Wisconsin teachers are unionized while teacher unions are illegal in Texas. This direct comparison was intended to show the benefit of unionized teachers in educating our children.

However, those rankings were found to be: 1) obsolete, using 12-year-old data, and 2) used questionable methodology. The ranking was debunked by PolitiFact and the claim has since been removed from the union’s website, in other words, they stretched the facts to fit their agenda.

One facet that makes a Texas comparison to many other states is the racial makeup of the student population. Minority students – regardless of state – tend to score lower than white students on standardized tests, and the higher the proportion of minority students in a state the lower its overall test scores tend to be. Regardless of the reasons, the gap does exist, and it’s mathematical sophistry to compare the combined average test scores in a state like Wisconsin (4% black, 4% Hispanic) to a state like Texas (12% black, 30% Hispanic).

But let’s ignore that mismatch and compare them anyway – broken down by racial groups. We’ll compare some 2009 standardized test scores (the latest available) for 4th and 8th grade students in the areas of math, reading, and science. A pilot program for 12thgraders is being tested, but national comparisons are not yet possible for that grade. The data supporting the following rankings are found at the Nation’s Report Card website (link below the rankings).

2009 4th Grade Math

White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)

Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)

Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

2009 8th Grade Math

White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)

Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)

Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

2009 4th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)

Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)

Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

2009 8th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)

Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)

Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

2009 4th Grade Science

White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)

Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)

Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

2009 8th Grade Science

White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)

Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)

Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, and Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade.

Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohorts in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8. That bears repeating: Texas fourth and eighth graders outperformed the national average scores in all categories.

Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin.

In other words, students perform better in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools – especially minority students.