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Thread: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    No, there are no chains on any of the people in any of the chairs during a negotiation. The question here is simply over negotiation and whether that should occur on anything resembling a level playing field. Some seem to view "workers" as mere and properly voiceless resources to be exploited rather than as stakeholders to be bargained with. Some seem as well not to recognize the substantial benefits in terms of certainty that amicable labor relations bring. We all have to hope that the people in those sorts of groups never come to be in charge of anything.
    Bull****. Whether it is the government or a private company, they are compelled by law to negotiate.
    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Did you mean deficit? Were you sure to select the CBO data that reflect Trust Fund revenue other than payroll tax receipts? Do you meanwhile think it is possible for any entity sitting on $2.8 trillion to be bankrupt?
    well I guess that depends. is that $2.8 Trillion cash? Or is it an IOU that you have written to yourself?


    We spent the surplus as it came in. Every year without fail. Both parties. welcome to the morning after.

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by Aberration View Post
    Bull****. Whether it is the government or a private company, they are compelled by law to negotiate.
    I'll refer you to Post-77...

    Good faith bargaining laws apply to all parties involved and establish mutual obligations and responsibilities. They do not compel any party to make any concession or to agree to any proposal. They require of both or all sides a fair, proper, and honest commitment to the process. That's the extent of it.

    Anyone having told you any different from that was wrong. Now you are too. It pays to be careful about those you choose to listen to.

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    well I guess that depends. is that $2.8 Trillion cash? Or is it an IOU that you have written to yourself? We spent the surplus as it came in. Every year without fail. Both parties. welcome to the morning after.
    You should most definitely look into a course in financial literacy, but I'll provide a brief primer here...

    Since the 1983 revisions, Social Security has been taking in more each month than the amount it needs to make retirement, disability, and survivor benefit payments. The 1983 revisions did this deliberately so that a large reserve could be built up and then drawn down to help fund the retirement benefits of the baby boomers without needing to enact burdensome new taxes on the workers of that day.

    Those surplus funds will not be needed for decades, hence in conformance with simple fiduciary responsibility, they have been invested on behalf of SSTF. All nearly $2.8 trillion of them so far. While it hasn't always been the case, the only currently acceptable instrument for investment of these surplus funds is US Treasury securities. They meet the statutory requirement that conservation of principal be the primary investment criterion, and they comprise likely the only capital market in the world large and liquid enough to absorb a total of better than $3 trillion flowing in and then out again on a generally knowable schedule. Hence, SSTF sits on a laddered series of Treasury bonds maturing between now and 2027 and currently earning interest at an average rate of just under 4%. The governments of China and Japan sit on similar series of Tresasury securities, except that theirs are each only worth around $1.1 trillion or so.

    Meanwhile, the proceeds of all sales of Treasury securities -- to SSTF, to China, to Japan, to you if you decide to give your niece a $100 US Savings Bond -- go into the Treasury General Fund. From there, they are available for appropriation by Congress to meet the purposes of the government. This is what happens to the proceeds of ALL sales of debt instruments. The proceeds of school bond sales are spent to build schools. The proceeds of corporate bond sales are spent to expand plant and equipment. And the proceeds of governemnt bond sales are spent for the purposes of govenrment. Big surprise. It would in fact be idiotic for anyone to sell debt if he did not have in mind a good purpose on which the proceeds would be spent.

    Treasury of course has a need to finance the budget deficits that this country has run every year but four since 1969. It does that by borrowing money. Suppose that in fact Treasury had refused to accept any of the money that SSTF was so anxious to invest. What would have happened then? Well, SSTF would have had to resort to rather a lot of other, inferior, less secure investments, and Treasury would have had to turn right around and borrow the exact same number dollars from somebody else. This of course would have been in private or international capital markets. Does that make any sense at all? Here is SSTF with bushel baskets full of money it wants to invest, Treasury has a need to sell notes to investors, but it shuns SSTF and turns to investors in China or Japan instead? No, that does not make sense at all, which is why that isn't what happens.

    Meanwhile, the notes that SSTF ends up holding are themselves an authority to spend. If SS somehow finds itself short by $100 million, it simply cuts checks for that amount and peels off a like amount from its wad of securities which it returns to Treasury. Treasury tears those up and then honors the checks when they come in.

    By the way, there are in total about 180 federal trust funds that operate in exactly the same manner as SSTF. None are anywhere near as large, and some don't have recurring balances to invest at all. But when they do, they invest those surplus funds in Treasury securities, and when the funds are needed again, they cash those secuities in. End of story.

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Oh, I'm fully aware that we have "invested the surplus in special obligation bonds", or other non-marketable treasuries. The problem is that that makes the transaction an accounting trick rather than an actual savings. Had they been allowed to purchase marketable securities, the Trust Fund could now begin selling them (though they might end up selling most of them to the Fed - oye), and actually have an independent inflow of money to make up for their shortfall. Instead, however, the money went to the General Fund, got spent by the General Fund, and is now coming out of the General Fund. It doesn't make a difference if the so-called "Trust Fund" is $2.8 Trillion or $2,800; the difference between payroll taxes and social security expenditures is made up each year out of the General Fund. It's like moving money from your savings to your checking, spending the money, and then demanding it back from yourself. The money is already gone. It's in the "Congresscritter John D Smith Loves His District Turnpike".

    so A) no, the securities held by the SS "Trust Fund" are not "like the ones held by China and Japan". those securities can be sold.
    and B) yes, social security is now broke. All we have is an arrangement where payroll shortfalls come out of the general fund - which is precisely what would happen even if they didn't go through the kabuki dance of having paper.

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    I'll refer you to Post-77...

    Good faith bargaining laws apply to all parties involved and establish mutual obligations and responsibilities. They do not compel any party to make any concession or to agree to any proposal. They require of both or all sides a fair, proper, and honest commitment to the process. That's the extent of it.

    Anyone having told you any different from that was wrong. Now you are too. It pays to be careful about those you choose to listen to.
    Who decides what's good faith or not? An official appointed by another elected official? Anyone remotely involved by the electoral process is succeptable, and in many ways, beholden to, powerful unions. But that's really besides the point.


    Unions can FORCE an agreement, by virtue of bleeding a company during strikes. Is hiring scabs legal? Can a company fire any employee striking? No? Well, then, what does a company DO, during these "in good faith" negotiations? Sit idly by, on a factory or store, not making money, not making product? That, to me, sounds like, sit at the bargaining table, or go bankrupt.

    Do you know what DURESS is?
    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post
    Reports indicate that everyone knew he was hauling a bunch of guns up there. But, since you brought it up, there's something which should be illegal: guns that breakdown.

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    Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    I'll refer you to Post-77...

    Good faith bargaining laws apply to all parties involved and establish mutual obligations and responsibilities. They do not compel any party to make any concession or to agree to any proposal. They require of both or all sides a fair, proper, and honest commitment to the process. That's the extent of it.

    Anyone having told you any different from that was wrong. Now you are too. It pays to be careful about those you choose to listen to.
    You obviously misunderstood.

    Being compelled to negotiate is not the same as being compelled to agree to anything. So your comment is irrelevant to what I said.

    It pays to read before trying to patronize. It also pays to not make so many assumptions.
    Last edited by Aberration; 09-17-12 at 11:27 PM.
    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Oh, I'm fully aware that we have "invested the surplus in special obligation bonds", or other non-marketable treasuries. The problem is that that makes the transaction an accounting trick rather than an actual savings. Had they been allowed to purchase marketable securities, the Trust Fund could now begin selling them (though they might end up selling most of them to the Fed - oye), and actually have an independent inflow of money to make up for their shortfall.
    No, you are in fact starkly unaware of how the system functions. The bonds held by SSTF are non-marketable on two accounts -- first, the investor has no need or intention of ever entering into secondary markets, and second, such status means that the notes have no exposure to interest-rate risk. The notes themselves are meanwhile an authority to spend. Intermediate steps to liquidate a position are not required. There is meanwhile no accounting trick or gimmick anywhere involved. The notes held by SSTF (and all other federal trust funds) are obligations backed by the full faith and credit of the US government as to every penny of scheduled principal and interest. This is exactly the case that applies to every other Treasury security in existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Instead, however, the money went to the General Fund, got spent by the General Fund, and is now coming out of the General Fund.
    Again and for the bazillionth time, proceeds from the sales of ALL debt instruments are used by the seller for its own purposes. There is no purpose to issuing debt except to raise funds to put to some particular purpose. Youir complaint here reflects a basic misunderstanding of the very function and purpose of debt.

    There are meanwhile two current flows being charged to the General Fund in SSTF's favor, both against Congressional appropriations. First is the scheduled payments of interest on SSTF's holdings of securities. Second is the periodic offset of funds lost to the system due to the 2% employee payroll tax holiday. As SSTF has no current need for cash, these flows are effected through issuances to SSTF of new Treasury securities.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    It doesn't make a difference if the so-called "Trust Fund" is $2.8 Trillion or $2,800; the difference between payroll taxes and social security expenditures is made up each year out of the General Fund.
    No, it isn't. SSTF's income arises from payroll taxes, from interest on its investments, and from reimbursements for funds lost due to the payroll tax holiday. All of those are available to SSA for the purposes of making benefit payments, and the sum of those inflows in fact exceeds the total of benefit outflows, which is why the SS surplus has continued to grow.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    so A) no, the securities held by the SS "Trust Fund" are not "like the ones held by China and Japan". those securities can be sold.
    Again, the securities held by SSTF are an authority to spend in and of themselves. How would China or Japan be in any superior position?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    and B) yes, social security is now broke.
    No, that's laughable. SSTF is sitting on a suprlus that will grow to more than $3 trillion before the number of retiring baby boomers leads to net outflows from the trust fund to pay the portion of their retirement benefits that is not covered by then-current payroll taxes. That's the resason we saved up those funds to begin with you know. Retirees get their benefits and workers of the day don't get saddled with huge extra tax burdens for it.

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    Re: Wis. judge strikes down law crippling public unions

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Who decides what's good faith or not?
    It will apparently come as a surprise to some that the concept of "good faith" is in long and well established use across diverse areas of the law. While the specifics will vary with context, the generality is based upon concepts of honesty and fairness, of lawfulness of purpose and an absence of intent to defraud, misrepresent, or otherwise take unfair advantage. Good faith bargaining laws require of both or all sides a fair, proper, and honest commitment to the process. That's the extent of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Unions can FORCE an agreement, by virtue of bleeding a company during strikes.
    Unions can strike and companies can do lockouts. The idea is never to get to such a point in the first place. Neither one helps any side.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Is hiring scabs legal? Can a company fire any employee striking? No?
    I suggest you do some further research. Scabs are legal virtually everywhere and companies need not allow striking workers to return to their former jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Well, then, what does a company DO, during these "in good faith" negotiations? Sit idly by, on a factory or store, not making money, not making product? That, to me, sounds like, sit at the bargaining table, or go bankrupt.
    It's a good idea to bargain. That's why it should be done. Everyone can win in such a situation. When that happens work stoppages simoly become nonexistent.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinKohler View Post
    Do you know what DURESS is?
    Of course. Do you imagine that duress is in any way at all related to good faith bargaining?
    Last edited by Cardinal Fang; 09-18-12 at 04:35 PM.

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