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Comment Re:So Proud of Gun Ownership (Score 1) 1232

And what is it about socialism that makes it such a powerful *individual* position?
Socialists recognize that an individual is completely powerless in terms of changing society. Only by banding together, through collective action, can individuals contribute to creating the changes we all want to see. What power do you have holed up with your family in a rural compound? Look at Ruby Ridge.

Comment Re:School::politics (Score 1) 386

State and union negotiators based pension contributions on contemporaneously typical assumptions about investments, calculated to provide retirees an optimum income while not hurting paychecks too bad. There was no conspiracy regarding 'too big too fail', a recent invention of private banking. They self-funded their retirement in the same way as someone who pays $10,000 into SS taxes while working then collects $13,600 over the rest of their lifetime. Are you just pulling number out of your ass?

Comment Re:The Public Sector Needs to Stop (Score 4, Insightful) 386

Private employees shirk unionization, then experience pay and benefit cuts, and somehow believe that this is just how the world SHOULD work. Having failed to defend their livelihoods when they had the chance, they become so bitter they demand that no one have decent wages or benefits.
Public workers have been vigilant in defending their standards of living; maybe you could learn something from them.

Comment Re:Public vs. Private? (Score 1) 386

"Public employees accepted lower salaries in exchange for job security, great benefits, and more holidays. But here in the wonderful 21st century, they kept all their bonuses AND get paid more." If ever public sector workers are paid more for similar work than a private employee, it's because the private employee's boss has by now crushed his pay and benefits to increase company profits. The now grumpy private employee comes to believe either that he has some god-given right to be paid more than a state worker, or that all workers everywhere must suffer the way he does.

Comment Re:School::politics (Score 4, Interesting) 386

These state workers paid into their pension accounts over the course of their careers; they have reduced their lifetime earnings by dozens of thousands of dollars to fund their pensions. The state is responsible for providing matching funds for their pensions, but only rarely has actually paid up fully. Teachers and social workers are funding their own "cushy" retirements. Or at least they're trying to, but their funds keep getting stolen by lawmakers.

Comment Re:An offer you can't refuse. (Score 2) 591

Exactly. American unions have been unable to effectively strike because almost all common forms of strike activity and solidarity are illegal. It is illegal to refuse to manufacture with scab materials. It is illegal to strike without authorization from national union leadership who have been bought off by the company in question. It is illegal to organize a general strike. Unions in America can't even enforce actual picket lines -- they can merely stand around outside asking nicely for scabs to respect their right to decent livelihoods. Due to these restrictions, many which were passed into law by the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, the constant demonization of unions in the corporate-owned media, and how less than 5% of the private workforce and 7% of the public workforce are unionized, these worker's organs are completely powerless. And yet, many Americans are compelled to work 10 to 12 hours a day through several different jobs just to feed their families, never mind trying to pay for health care. Restaurants workers, for example, are almost entirely non-union and -- surprise -- restaurants jobs often pay less than minimum wage and flagrantly violate workplace safety laws. I've had friends suffer 2nd degree burns over both arms, who were forced to continue their 6 hour shifts in the kitchen under threat of losing their jobs and being blacklisted by other local managers. The absence of workers' organizations, not to mention *effective* workers' organizations, across broad swaths of the American workforce causes dozens of millions of poor Americans to languish in economic deprivation, thus also in medical, educational, social, and political deprivation.

Comment Re:Schools vs. Killing brown people (Score 1, Informative) 419

I went to the Illinois state-run brainiac school (IMSA) upon which Daley is dreaming -- let me tell you, this is not the model that will help Chicago's education program. These elite schools spend exorbitantly on a small crop of students, giving them (myself included) a fucking awesome education while students who didn't make the cut are stuck in the ineffectual morass of public high schools.

To really solve Chicago's education problem, you have to prioritize the schools that cater to the very worst students; it makes no sense to spend more money on students who are already succeeding.

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