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Journal smittyoneeach's Journal: Sometimes, letting the sting of the idiocy bite IS the optimal course 13

The union-brokered $2 billion bonus revelation comes as President Barack Obama sent a White House delegation led by Attorney General Eric Holder to Detroit on Friday to announce a $320 million aid package.
The timing of the unfolding bonus scandal creates a politically liability for Obama, as in 2012, Obama declared that his leadership kept Detroit from going bankrupt.
"We refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. I bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way," said Obama.
Detroit, which has $18.5 billion in long-term debt obligations, is the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

If Lois Lerner is any guide, the perpetrators will retire and continue to leech off of the productive.

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Sometimes, letting the sting of the idiocy bite IS the optimal course

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  • It's not his money anyway. He never felt responsible. He lied. The only reason he was elected, was...

  • Breitbart is about as unbiased as Kim Jong-Un's press corps. If we look instead at the NY Times article on the same issue [] we come to a different conclusion. While your article of course leans on the union as the classic boogeyman and source of all that ails planet earth, there is an explanation that does not require voodoo:

    Michiganâ(TM)s Constitution explicitly protects public pensions.

    Hence they had to be paid. If the argument is over the "extra" payments from the city, there are a few important parts that I would wager your link conveniently did not consider:

    The excess payments were often made near the end of the year, when recipients needed money for the holidays, or to heat their homes.


    • I don't have a problem with private sector unions--if people want to hire a second HR department, that's their prerogative, insofar as they get to feel the bite of their choices.
      A public sector union is a standing mutiny, as even the otherwise daft FDR understood.
      • A public sector union is a standing mutiny...

        Much worse are those who seek a career in the public sector, especially in the military, congress, the executive, and the courts. We must convert them into a community (state, national) service where people are conscripted, like the selective service system, a draft, if you will. In and out, nobody gets hurt. This will help immensely in mitigating the corruption that goes to the core as today's prime motivator.

        • What I would do, along these lines, is cap non-military federal careers at 10 years.
          To extend Lord Acton, even small amounts of power corrupt a person over time.
          Minimizing the overall corruption is thus achieved by rotating the corruptees out more often. You can quibble on the optimal experience/corruption tradeoff, but I'm arguing for higher frequency rotation.
          • Why not military also? They're the greatest threat with all the damn guns and stuff. I don't want then to get attached to the job. That's my whole point. No careers, period. We don't need to make more generals for being good desk jockeys and interior decorators and pay them huge pensions. Promotions are for wartime. In peacetime, it's 'back to the farm' for all of them, and like you said, high rotation for those occupying other countries, 3 to 6 months.

            Ten years is way too long. 5 max. Okay, 6, for the sena

            • Because, while I think that civilian systems should be kept lean & simple, targeting a college graduate level for administration
              (knowing that, as long as the Federal Reserve prints money, incumbency is tantamount to aristocracy, and the people are disengaged, we're purely hypothetical)
              and kept relatively honest by rapid turnover and randomization, so that people Just Do Their Jobs instead of turning them into crime sprees, war isn't like that.
              It takes time to identify & cultivate leaders. I, myse
              • It takes time to identify & cultivate leaders.

                When I hear 'cultivate', indoctrinate comes to mind. It doesn't take time, except for boot camp training. It takes experience. That's what promotions should be based on, not on the best, fastest, most senior pencil pusher. Young punk draftees won the war, and the guy who produced the best kill ratio got the promotion (Yeah, I know, a lot of the leadership were lifers, but they screwed up pretty bad in the early days of the war themselves, again, experience,

                • When I hear 'cultivate', indoctrinate comes to mind. It doesn't take time, except for boot camp training. It takes experience.

                  Wow, you should read this one study floating around /. about how peoples' ideology gets in the way of addressing the facts at hand. It's an agricultural reference, dude.

                  It's a service, like jury duty.

                  Think of the task of leading a large body of people, so that they are in the right time/place/state, to minimize destruction. Listen to me. War is politics by other means, and a proper understanding of war is that the teamwork, discipline, trust, training, logistics, communications, and, above all, talent & courage , somehow just happens

                  • WWII wasn't won in a single season. And the career minded bureaucrats that ran every war since then don't have a very good record. Hell, they did a lot to prolong WWII itself through their clumsiness and politics. Look, I fully understand your position. Self preservation runs strong, but you're taking this entirely personally. It's not personal, it's strictly business.

                  • It's an agricultural reference...

                    What, you plant them in the ground? Shouldn't you wait until they're dead first?

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.