.

"We are poor little lambs who have lost our way, baa, baa, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa humbug!

baaaa baaaaaaaa baaaaaa

I have heard so much rhetoric in the recent past how the cause of the economic problems are because of the Unions and Federal, State and Municipal workers dragging down the economy with their huge payouts, etc. that I was actually believing it.  Hey, wait a minute. I'm one of those municipal workers, the most recent scourge to society.  Whether you agree with me or not, we are in the terrible fiscal time that we are in because of:

Wall Street and the ridiculous people in the Senate and legislature who spew this garbage.

Do we have jobs and good benefits?  Yes, we do because the government gave them to us because benefits were cheaper than giving us money in raises.  That's right folks, benefits were cheaper than giving raises years back. Constantly we heard that "you may not be making much money but at least you have good benefits." Well then, Rick, how come benefits are so expensive now?  "Well let me think for a minute, rising health care costs, insurance increases, fuel increases, food increases, drug increases and HUGE corporate bonuses."  Ok, Rick, let's say for the sake of argument that's true. Who is responsible for All of this?  "Well my best guess would be Wall Street and Banks and Insurance companies."  Well I'm finding this hard to believe. How come we haven't been hearing this on the news or reading it in our news papers?  (pregnant pause for effect) "Dear friend, by any chance do you know who owns and runs the media?" No, Rick, who?  "Well, I am not quite sure (slightly passive aggressive), but I'll bet if you could trace back through all the convoluted twists and turns and shell corporations and such that you would find Big Business and Wall Street." Come on now, Rick, we the taxpayers (who are made up of union people and state and federal workers and middle class common folk) bailed them out with our hard- earned tax dollars. They wouldn't do this to us would they?  "By chance did you happen to see the big bonuses that they passed out to each other or the accounts that they hide in tax-free nations and the dummy corporations that they set up off shore so that they can do this all legally and everything and avoid paying their fair share of taxes?

"You know, my friend, I don't believe in socialisam or redistributing the wealth or any of those things but I do believe this: we as a nation are being fed a bunch of garbage in a very well thought out plan.

"I don't believe there are two political parties anymore and that the constant bickering is a well-thought-out act of slight of hand and smoke and mirrors to keep us distracted from the truth of corporate take over. 

"When the country closes down and common people don't get paid or Social Security payments are held up, do you honestly believe that the Senate and House don't get paid too, think again.  You want to attack me on health-care cost, how about what the top echelon in government get for Life, total and free health care for them and their familiies and a pension that would blow your minds even if they only put a few years of service in.  You know, people, you can agree with me or disagree with me, but stand up and be heard not herded like sheep.  Ask a lot of questions of Washington and Hartford and Locals.  Demand that they stop spending our money instead of their own.  Have them stand up and be accountable or vote them out.  Don't vote for change when you don't even know what the change is and whether it is good or bad for us.  We are all eager for change, but change that is going to help the masses and not the few unscrupulous elite types."

You know, Rick, you have kind of gotten off the track here.  "You're right, my friend, I have and I'm sorry, but I along with millions of other public sector workers I have been demonized in a well thought out corporate plan of bashing, to remove the heat from them.

"I am truly sorry, sorry for all the people out of work, without benefits, struggling to live. This is certainly not a great place to be, but we municipal workers didn't put you there. You are our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends and we hurt with you as you struggle to regain a foothold in this disaster economy brought on by corporate greed and lousy action by Washington collective.  I'm not promoting unions, but unions have saved more than just jobs in this country, they saved lives (just ask a coal miner.) Big business and Big Brother would like nothing better than to keep us fragmented and infighting and not unionized than to concentrate on how they are padding their own nests and wallets at the expense of our nests and wallets. Remember, as a people, "United we stand, Divided we fall and fail!

ps

98.5% of what I have said is true and accurate.  As a further note I am also sick and tired of being told that Social Security and Medicare is an Entitlement program, as if this is a bad thing. Excuse me, but I paid a lot of money into these programs and when I retire your d--- right I'm entitled to them, just like the rest of you who have paid into them.  So my thoughts are these: Washington you tighten your belts and I mean your belts, not my belt, not my neighbor's belt, but yours, Y..O..U.. Mr. pompous Senator, Mr. pompous Representative, you take a cut in pay, you give up your 17 secretaries and personal aids, and free haircuts and jet-setting across the globe at our expense with your families, and your no-cost- to-you health care and then and only then you come to me and ask me to give up more than we have already sacrificed for your lavish lifestyles at our expense!!! And last but not least, you work five days a week at 40+ hours a week and 48 weeks out of the year. After all, you make three or four or more times what the rest of us make. Sooo get your act together or we just might have to lay you off or fire you! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

BJ August 11, 2011 at 06:34 PM
I grew up in the fifties and sixties in a very blue-collar community where many (if not most) of our fathers were civil service workers. Even then we knew that cops, firemen, teachers, postmen, and the like didn't make a whole lot of money, but they had no layoffs and gold-plated benefits, not least of which for cops and firemen was retirement at half-pay after 20 years (three-quarters-pay after 30). Somewhere in the '70s, though, those civil service workers wanted pay parity with the private sector while keeping those gold-plated benefits. And that's what they got. Remember, Rick, your retirement plan (which the city pays into for you) is a defined benefit plan, while most of us have a defined contribution plan. With your plan, you get a set amount every month for the rest of your life; those of us with the defined contribution plans can only take out what we put in, not a cent more. I don't know, so I'll ask: when you retire, will you keep your medical benefits? I assume so, because so many civil service workers do. That may have been the case before the initial meltdown, but it's not so common anymore.
BJ August 11, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Look, you chose civil service, nobody forced you into it. On balance, you're doing pretty well-- hey, at least you're working, and let's not forget about those benefits. You write passionately about your, um, predicament, but maybe you should stop and smell the roses, too. Entitlements are what we get until they're not there anymore. As for social security and medicare, we've all paid into the program all our working lives, and we all hope it's there when we retire. You're not unique in that regard. But consider this. You pay 7.65% of your salary into social security and medicare, and your employer pays the other half. I'm self-employed and have been for thirty years, and for all that time I get to pay both halves, or 15.3% of my earnings. Stop whining. Your employer gives you health insurance. We self-employed have to pay for ours, just as do many employees whose employers can't afford it. I'm lucky, I suppose, in that I left Viet Nam with a service-connected disability, so I'm eligible for the wonderful health care at the VA. That, too, is an entitlement for which I paid and continue to pay dearly (just not in dollars), but if VA funding is squandered by the government and the VA hospitals run short, I'll gladly give up my entitlement for the kids coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan (which group includes my sons). What, pray tell, are you willing to give up? From what you wrote, it seems like, well, nothing.
RIck George August 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Bob, Maybe I didn't state my thoughts clearly. I am not complaining about what I have or earned, I do feel blessed to be working and having benefits. Quite probably the time has come to take a look at all the packages given the state of the economy. What I take exception with is that the politicians are acting like they are victims and the cause of the whole meltdown is the wages and benefit packages that government workers have. Government workers were given these packages through negotiation with the very same politicians and the high cost and high powered attorneys that the government hired to negotiate these packages. You take exception with my view points but you make no comment about the packages our Senators and representatives give to themselves at yours and my expense. I know I'm facing cuts, what cuts are they facing. My whole point is if we (collectively) have to tighten our belts how come they don't have to also. I would be remiss not to thank you and your sons for their and your service to this country, nothing is held in higher regard as far as I am concerned! As far as what I am willing to give up, I do what I can as a volunteer in this community and beyond, whether it is with the United Way, Senior Center, Rape Crisis, or a myriad of other organizations contributing both time and money.
RIck George August 12, 2011 at 12:04 AM
To finish my thought Bob, as 15 year member of the United Way and just finishing in January as the Chairman for two years I am very much aware of the suffering our brothers and sisters in life are going through and attempt to help in any way that I can. So Bob thank you very much for your comments and If my blog opens a door for people to search and question what is going on around us than I have succeeded. God Bless and good night.
BJ August 12, 2011 at 07:57 PM
When I first replied to your last reply, somehow it wound up as a sidebar that can't be read in its entirety (at least be me), I'll try here to state it here all over again. First, thank you for writing coherently this time around. In your original post, you wrote: "You want to attack me on health-care cost, how about what the top echelon in government get for Life, total and free health care for them and their familiies and a pension that would blow your minds even if they only put a few years of service in." What you assert is simply not true. Yes, the 'top echelon' of the members of Congress do quite well with regard to retirement benefits, but those who serve less than five years get nothing (and from there on up is a sliding scale). All it takes is a simple Google search to find the answers, including the fact that congressional members do pay into and eventually collect from social security. I'm sure they have an even better deal than you, as do most employees with responsibilities that are so greater than yours or mine. In my original responses, I wasn't challenging your charitable nature as a volunteer, merely wondering what benefits you are willing to give up for the public good and if they're the same as what you expect from elected officials.

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