en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HoaxA hoax is a deliberately fabricated falsehood made to masquerade as truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, or rumors, urban legends....
I was checking email, Facebook and twitter last night when I noticed something that had me thinking I was seeing another email-style hoax. I am alway vigilant about that sort of thing. I have called many a person on some outrageous half truth supposedly spoken by a famous person. I don't like that at all and I don't want my readers to be caught believing a lie or half truth (just as dangerous if not more). Someone I follow on Facebook posted a sign from the Democratic Party Facebook page and it looked like this:
This is why we all need a lot of education. We need to be able to see beyond the "knee jerk" reaction we have to the idea that we as an individual might benefit from less taxes. Less taxes is very appealing but at what cost will giving us $5 dollars a month in our pocket come. Even first year economics will tell you 1) that a job is a job. Whether it is in the public or private sector, the job still drives the economy and 2) we all pay to employ the people that are working...the grocery store manager and the clerk that waits on you is paid with the money you pay for their services. The fireman, teacher and policeman provide a service to YOU and you pay for it. The public sector gets paid as much as they do because the market is willing to pay that much and their unions negotiate for the employees fair share. The public sector does exactly the same thing.
Unfortunately, people seem to feel that they are not getting the bang for their buck that they want when they pay public sector workers. As a result here in the state of Oregon, for example, there have been cuts in the numbr of days on public servants contracts and they have gone without any pay raises for a number of years. These public employees actually did not fight this decision and in fact volunteered to take a cut in wages so no more teachers or policemen would be fired. Other state agencies have cut jobs and the public sector dollar is stretched until it may break. When all those people are without employment, less money is spent and more people in the private sector are without employment. It is a vicious circle!
But the bottom line is, the public sector jobs are not big government...they are jobs created to provide the public with services they demand. Big government is the entity that makes the regulations that add costs to those jobs. Longer school years, paper work that requires added work hour not related to students or police work and other mandates that required added personel; these all add to the costs. For example, teachers are really required to have a more education to earn more money. Even though they don't have to do that, the truth is that there probably won't be a job if they don't. College costs are huge. A person that has a masters plus 45 post graduate studies or even a doctorate is not going to be able to pay their bills if the public will not pay their salaries. The choice is to dummy down this sector or to pay for a top quality education for our children which will result in an educated population which will drive a healthy economy. The sad thing is dummy down will probably happen if it hasn't already.
I have always thought that if every sector of the economy is willing to take less pay, charge less for their products, charge less real estate sales fee, expect smaller stock dividends, etc., then, and only then, should we expect teachers, policemen, firefighters to work harder to provide the same services for less pay. Since when do we solve the economic crisis on the shoulders of the people that provide basic safety and educational services.
As a side note, I read Economist View this morning and Mark Thoma, Professor of Economics at
University of Oregon had this to say:
After the stock market crash, public sector employment continued to rise during the Bush administration, but after the housing market crash public sector employment declined. This made the recession worse, and it's working against the recovery....(see Caculated Risk: Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs: Bush and Obama, by Calculated Risk)I personally have the feeling that when President Obama said that the "private sector was doing fine" he was saying that the government had poured enough money into the pockets of the banking community. Now it is time to take at look at how investing in the public sector might help turn things around. Remember: a job is a job. All jobs help prime the pump. Why not hire a teacher and let the bankers and their stock holders reap the rewards of that teacher using their services. Doesn't that make sense.
But then that is just me!