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So, I hate to do this, I really do, but I have something to say.  First of all, I hate Fox News, but more on that later.  Unless you live under a rock, you may have noticed that Wisconsin has been in the news lately.  Now, if I were a supporter of conspiracy theories (which I am) I would say that the Governor Walker is trying to destroy unions to eliminate a powerful supporter of the democratic party.  And that he is trying to set precedent for other states to eliminate collective bargaining on his way to create a Republican Super Power or Empire and take away free will from the American people.  I would only say this if I was a conspiracy theorist (which I am).  Why else would he not accept the unions agreement to have employees do EVERYTHING in his bill, accept the loss of collective bargaining?  I’m just sayin.

Am I biased?  Of course I am.  Just the mere fact that I have a PhD, a democrat and an independent thinker makes me biased on this particular issue.  The whole thing is asinine.  Does that make me an elitist?  Probably, and I am OK with that.  Here are the facts:

January 2011 – Walker signs bill providing tax breaks for those with health savings accounts.  This is reduced state revenue, how will it be made up?

January 2011 – Walker signs bill giving tax breaks to businesses that relocate to Wisconsin in their first two years, and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011 and would lower state revenue by an estimated $1 million over two years.  Will this be made up by stimulating business? I don’t know.

Are these bills bad?  Depending on your perspective, but my issue is that he has spent the first month in office reducing state revenue and then proposes a bill that increases out-of-pocket expenses of a specific population of Wisconsin while simultaneously attempting to severely reduce collective bargaining.  Also, keep in mind, these cuts to pay proposed in this bill does not even scratch the over 3 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) deficit for the next budget cycle.

Finally, to why I hate Fox News.  On Fox News, it was stated that Wisconsin Union workers make “89,000 bucks” in salary ($51,000) and benefits ($38,000), while non-union workers make an average of $48,000 ($38K + $10K).  The next night they corrected their previous statement, by stating that it is really $81K for Wisconsin versus $66K for everyone else.

Firstly, I hate inaccurate news! (And no I am not saying that Fox is the only news source that gets things wrong.)  Because no one listens to/hears the correction.  It just fuels the stupid commercials I am seeing that somehow these union workers have gotten over on the system.

Secondly, the comparison is not that simple.  If you believe the first set of numbers (the incorrect ones) you would be inclined to think Wisconsin union employees are receiving an unfare advantage.  You might even think this with the accurate numbers, but even the real numbers would be misleading.  Why? Because education matters.

According to the US Census Bureau, 17% of Wisconsin residents (25 years and older) hold a bachelor’s degree.  A bachelor’s degree is required to be a teacher in Wisconsin.  So, the real question is, does a person with a bachelor’s degree in the public sector make more than the private sector equivalent.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, that answer is no.

So, like most political issues, many people are being misled by inaccuracies or national pundits comparing apples to oranges as they miss much of the crucial details that make comparisons have true meaning.  Now Walker may never raise taxes, which will make a lot of people happy, but when he cuts streams of state revinue (like taxbreaks) where is the money going to come from to cover that loss, if not taxes?  Wisconsin union workers will not have their taxes raised, but they will be paying more next year.  Is there a difference?Sorry for this political rant, but it had to be done.

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Last week I was in Walmart and saw a HOT female employee.  Of course, the first thought had been “Is she really hot, or just ‘Walmart’ hot?”  See “Beauty is Relative” for more detailed explanation. But it got me thinking.  Is beauty really that much of an advantage in the work place.  THink about it.  Think about all the jobs that you would never ever want to have, for example, gas attendant, Walmart employee, fry cook, janitor, or garbage collector.  Now, don’t get me wrong, these jobs are important and if you work in one of these jobs, please forgive me for what I am about to say, but people with these jobs are never good-looking  (See?  Sorry).  You know this is true, because when you see a good-looking garbage collector it will seem weird to you.  The only explanation I could give for the Walmart employee being hot, assuming that she was indeed hot, was that she was foreign and just moved to the country.  That would be the only explanation that would make sense to me.  I’m just sayin …

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