OT: Democracy in Action

Page 2 of 8  


Are you saying what would it have cost with or without health insurance? Before or after you have hit your limits for the year?
One thing that people are forgetting: no hospital in the US is allowed to turn away a patient just because they cannot pay. As a result, we who are actually paying the bill need to pay for those who are not.
This will open up a can of worms but if you insert the Federal Government into the mix, you will mess things up even more than they are. Just because the Federal Government would run a health care arm does not mean those people are any smarter or more efficient or more ethical or, in any way, better. Plus there are 350,000,000 or more in these United States. A lot of people bring up the fact that governments of other countries have universal healthcare insurance but trying to have one, central point of control of an industry and try to make it one-size-fit-all for the vast number of people involved simply will not work. (But this is the subject of another thread!)
As far as it goes, I have not seen my pay increase in about four years. In fact, two years ago, we were all forced to take one week a quarter off without pay. None of my expenses cared that I had less money. I survived. And even though we have not been forced to that extreme since (yet!), my pay is stagnant and ALL of my costs have increased. Also, back in 2003, I saw my pay get cut back around 20% but that was better than no job at all whenever I was about to get laid off. I put in for over 450 jobs in person, over the internet, thru the mail, anywhere I could. No bites. Luckily, this was tossed at my feet. 20% is a hell of a cut, no matter how much you are making. I made major changes in my life during the time I was looking feverishly for a job and thru the first 2-3 yer of that lower paying job. We didn't do anything we didn't have to do. We didn't eat out. We didn't go to the movies. We didn't go on vacation. We didn't do hardly anything. We focused all of our money toward our mortgage and our second mortgage (because we added onto the house) and the one car-- basically anything to get our family out of any sort of debt at all. During that time, my wife had to go to part-time, too, so it wasn't easy.
I guess I am saying that things happen and people can either roll up their sleeves and work harder or, in the worst case scenario (and I am not saying you or your kids do this) would be to stick your hand out.
Is not the hardship the same across the board? Is it hard to give up some things? Yes, it is very hard. Going backwards in any degree is hard. But you need to learn how to tough it out.
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The main reason for our high healthcare costs is the need for malpractice insurance coverage for the medical community. Eliminate that from the equation and our costs would be significantly lower.
I guess the bottom feeding lawyers are the legal systems counterpart to the anointed ones desire to redistribute the wealth.
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On 8/11/2011 2:30 PM, Gordon Shumway wrote:

That truly is a big expense however if you take the insurance out of the equation and every one would benefit. Think about a doctors office that has a department/staff for simply collecting payment from the insurance company. Then look at the big discounts that the insurance company gets.
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Indeed. A system where this was the price, and no bargaining is better. Less staff to pay to do the arguing. Oops, more unemployed secretaries ...
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Gordon Shumway wrote in

The lawyers are certainly a factor, but there are others too. First of all, there is the feeling that the newest, most expensive treatment is the best. Uh, uh, not necessarily. Some of those are mere fancy ways to package an old treatment in a new patent protected envelop. Then there is the fighting between you, the doctor's office, and the insurance company as to what is allowed, covered, proper, whatever, with the myriad codes for medications and treatment. The Dutch system is simplified. The hospital sent me a 1 page bill, half of which was addresses (hospital, mine) and a few lines that pointed to a single code that covered all. Doctor was very satisfied with the system. He wanted to practice medicine and heal people (had a kidney transplant and wanted to pay back, also). Didn't want to fight about reimbursements. He basically just had a salary, I believe. I also got an extra page with an explanation of the system in (sort of) English. I was indeed glad I still spoke and understood Dutch when this all happened. Good thing it didn't happen in Italy ...
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Han wrote:

Nobody's labor contract got "undone." Previous labor contracts are still in force. The only change was that "new" contracts could not be based on collective bargaining.
The "average" pay for teachers in New Jersey is in excess of $63,000. Even in the Garden State, your daughter's family should be able to subsist on a piddly $130,000 per year.
Heck, they could even supplement this meager income by making Slurpees in the summer months.
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I agree. Also, I work with a woman whose husband is a teacher in a fairly well-paid district here in PA. They are in their mid-30s (around 34-35). He has taught there for about ten years now. Whenever we talked about teacher's salaries, she exclaimed, "Well, Rick needs to work 17 years before he makes $75,000. 17 YEARS!! How long did it take you to make $75,000?!?!" I told her the truth: it took me over 30 years to get there.
Sorry, I understand that teachers are a bit behind in salary in their early years but, seriously, they don't put in near the amount of hours that other professions do. Also, they knew the pay scale whenever they went in. If they didn't, shame on them.
Beside, pension and health care insurance costs are breaking the backs of the public. We who are contributing to the GNP in this country are paying ever escalating costs for our own retirement and health care AND we are expected to pay for the people who work in public unions.
Think about it.
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On 8/11/2011 8:28 AM, busbus wrote:

Since NJ was interjected into into conversation, can someone verify that apparently the police union negotiated that police in NJ pay 1.5% of their salary for health insurance?
For the median income ($90k+) mentioned earlier, that is less than $150/mo.
My wife and daughters is $800+/mo, and that is a bare bones policy with a huge deductible.
Pardon me while I sob a few tears ... for all of us. :(
IIRC, this is EXACTLY what the issue in WI was about ... union choke hold on public purse strings, bought and paid for by bought and paid for politicians.
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Swingman, I can tell you this: the teachers in the school district I live in went out on strike last year for six weeks. The labor dispute was never settled. The teachers are looking to strike again this year. One thing the school board asked for was an increase in the healthcare insurance from 0.5% to 0.9% and the teachers were really up in arms about that. They were also asked to teach six out of nine periods instead of only five out of nine. I know some things like Calculus and Physics and English composition papers are not the easiest things to grade but it seems to me that t he teachers are being given ample time to get a lot of that work done during the school day. Sure, they need to bring work home. Many, many of us white collar workers come in early; stay late; and work at home on evenings, weekends, holidays, and vacations. That is EXPECTED of us. Why not the teachers, too?
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wrote:

Teaching 6 periods rather than 5 is a 20% increase in teaching load, right? I'd be upset about that too, if my take home pay was cut on top of that. And as an "exempt" employee at a university, I know a little about staying late, and working weekends etc.
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On 8/11/2011 1:07 PM, Han wrote:

But teaching 5 out of 9 periods is only 55% of the time you are there. I don't see that as an increase, I see that as being more productive during the time that you are at work.
Sure you have to do more work as opposed to what you were told you would have do. Join the crowd. Economic times are tough. If every one does not pitch in an do more the cream is going to rise to the top and they are going to be the ones that keep their jobs. Those that complain and or do the least will be replaced, simple economics.
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wrote:

The teachers do not always have to be there first or last period. And teaching a class is really more work than supervising cafeteria or some such. Basically, if the school can make teachers 20% more productive, they need to pay 20% fewer teachers.
Yes, times are tough, for everyone. That's when you want teaching to be done well, and you should be willing to pay for that.
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On 8/11/2011 3:24 PM, Han wrote:

So not putting in a full day is OK??? Wish I could come in late and leave early and have the summer off. How about making all teachers more productive by putting in a full day and letting all of them keep their jobs.

We are paying for that! We are not gettin g what we are paying for.
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When I see my daughter and SIL come home from a day's teaaching, I can clearly see they put in a whole day's work. Maybe there are those who just pretend to work, but I believe most are doing right.
Yes, they may have the summer off. They don't get paid then, or at least thay have the choice to get paid full pay during school, and nothing during the summer, or to have it spread out. My SIL is a bridge fanatic, so he is earning extra money in the summer playing professional bridge. No idea how that works exactly, but hopefully he brings in enough so I don't really have to supplement them.

In some cases, indeed you're not getting what you pay for. That's not acceptable, and work rules need to change. In other cases, teachers are NOT rewarded enough for their work.
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On 8/11/2011 4:28 PM, Han wrote:

I believe "some" are being paid what they are worth oters are being baby sitters.

I think a good teacher would know that being paid as he or she has earned the money takes more responsibility and thinking ahead than having the school holding on to your money so that you don't spend it all and have nothing over the summer. The teachers that cannot budget themselves to not spend every dime they make while working during the school year are not the ones I want teaching my child. I would rather have a teacher that teaches common sense than one that is highly educated but can't make it on the salary that he or she has agreed to. If you cannot make it on your own what good is that education?
My SIL is a bridge fanatic,

???
A majority of teachers ARE rewarded enough for their work and for many more than enough. A select few are NOT rewarded enough. IMHO. ;~)
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They don't *have* to. The private sector doesn't have the silly concept of "tenure". If you don't perform, you're out!

They *do* get paid, whether they get paid over nine months or twelve, they get paid a salary. They can (and often do) work a second job. In some states they're also eligible for unemployment.

You?

Bring on the pay-for-performance, competition between schools, and dump tenure. You can't just pay more, though.
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There are arguments in favor of tenure, but it should also be performance dependent, IMO.

As Leon pointed out, there is something to be said for letting them budget themselves, so the summer without income can be lived through, so to speak. Also, letting them pay you in 12 monthly portions gives them an interest-free loan, something I am against on principle. OTOH, i can see the ease of budgeting with the 12 monthly payments.

Obviously I don't have to, but seeing them struggle is no fun either. Besides the granddaughters deserve to be helped, they're so good people.

I always remember the Latin teacher fulminating in our high school class as the stupedest bunch he'd ever had. That's what he said and I think he meant it. Some kids adored him, I hated him. But the point is that some years a teacher may be dealt a bunch of "stupid" kids. Come evaluation time, does that mean he should be demoted because that bunch of kids underperformed? Maybe competition between schools in academic subjects could be more emphasized. Although, depending on what the parents do with the info, it is sufficiently known which schools do better. People will go live in those districts.
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NO good ones, at least for primary and secondary grades. College, *maybe*.

That's a personal thing. The point is, they're paid a salary for work done. If you want to call their salary $50K (or whatever)/9 or $50K/12 is irrelevant.

Aren't they making $80K? Let them live!

Yes. ...if you call not making a "bonus" a demotion. If I'm working for a stupid boss or get stupid requirements, you bet it affects my pay.

So I'll mark you down as being in favor of a permanent underclass.
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I'm agreeing with most of what I didn't quote.
You may be thinking 80K is a lot around here, but it isn't. I am happy to help with extras That they couldn't afford for the kids if I didn't help. Going into more details would be too personal, sorry.

You know better than that. I'm in favor of helping everyone attain their best. How is the problem/question. And in the spirit of American competitiveness that I thought you would appreciate, I wrote the above "Maybe " etc
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Don't want personal information, but if they can't live on that, move. It really is that simple. I've done it, a few times.

That *is* what you're advocating.

Let schools compete for their "customers". Attach the government tuition check the check to the children. Stand back because things will change, fast!
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