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  1. That's a strange sentence. The economic elite benefit from (x) because (x) distracts us from the fact that it's the economic elite versus the rest of us? One could substitute literally anything for (x), and be able to say "the elite benefit from (x)" because (x) distracts us from being against them. The economic elite benefit from Dancing With The Stars because Dancing With The Stars distracts us from the fact that it's the rich versus the poor! At its core this is just Marxist class warfare. We are not "against" our own super-rich, generally speaking. We tend to want prosperous economies. Who benefits from that? The super rich! Oh and pretty much everyone else too, by the way, at least relative to not-prosperous economies. So if we all become relatively better off when the economy is growing, then we all (including the super rich) therefore have a shared economic goal to grow and prosper. There are basically no examples of broad prosperity among the poor and middle class coinciding with massive depletion of wealth from the wealthy. Whether by taxation, devaluation of certain asset classes, or anything else, basically zero examples of the masses thriving while the rich suffer. It never happens. Overall, we grow and prosper together (the rich too) or we shrink and suffer together. Every major macroeconomic event either tends to benefit the vast majority of us relatively speaking with a few outliers/exceptions, or hurts the vast majority of us relatively speaking, with a few outliers/exceptions. The super rich and the quite-rich and the little-bit-rich and the not-so-rich and the relatively-poor practically all have a shared economic goal of wanting our economies to grow and thrive. It isn't this demographic group of people "versus" that demographic group of people when it comes to macroeconomics. It isn't black versus white and it isn't rich versus poor. We shouldn't get brainwashed and propagandized into believing a certain subset of Americans are our sworn enemies. We can agree some of the time and disagree other times without being sworn enemies. We can even disagree most of the time without being sworn enemies. There isn't and shouldn't be a belief that we have to foment a permanent and broad class war, or race war, or age war, or even political war.
  2. It wasn't that clear you were making a comparison. Health insurance enrollments (to opt in) are valid indefinitely. The difference with health insurance is there was never any coercion to opt in and pay part of the premium. Imagine if an employer said "agree to sign this health insurance enrollment form or we'll fire you." Obviously employees are going to "agree" and sign the form. But then if a court finally decides that actually that was a violation of basic rights, they should have to sign it again now that they can actually make a non-coerced choice about it. You and I agree about this. The fact that unions are referring to this notion (that employees should sign a new form now that they're not being threatened over it) as "attacking workers" is just insane doublespeak. It's absolutely crazy.
  3. You can get it for free, if the union chooses to certify as an exclusive representative, and you're a public sector worker and/or live in one of the 27 Right To Work states. Further, even in those 23 states that are not Right To Work, the union security clause (which is what unions negotiate to demand payment from everyone in the bargaining unit) can be opposed in negotiations by the employer. It's a "permissive subject of bargaining." No employer is required to agree to a union security clause. It is wholly within the union's control to forego "exclusive representative" status and thereby not be required to do anything for non-members.
  4. This isn't about health insurance, it's about withholding money that is sent to the union.
  5. Unfortunately, until this crap is reinforced by the federal courts pursuant to Janus, it will be up to each individual public employee to vociferously and adamantly opt out in order to get the employer and union to stop withholding their money.
  6. Recent story on which this topic is based, from my former home state: Gov. Dunleavy thrusts Alaska into a leading national role as he takes on union procedures Up until last year, public sector unions in non-Right-To-Work states pretty much forced new employees in union-represented jobs to sign withholding authorizations. These "dues authorizations" basically said "Whatever I am required to pay the union in order to be able to keep my job, I agree to have it withheld and sent to the union." If they didn't agree to this, they would have to independently send money separately to the union, or else the union would order the employer to fire the employee. That's what "union security agreements" are (or were). Then in June of 2017, the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional for public sector employers to do this. Specifically, it said: What Dunleavy and many other employers are starting to realize, is that these authorizations unions have strong-armed public employees into signing (by threatening their firing if they don't, which prior to 2018 was legal in the pubic sector), aren't valid anymore, because employees need to clearly, affirmatively and freely give consent to have money withheld from them to be sent to the union. In the past they didn't really have a free, clear, affirmative right to consent. They had to consent to have their money sent to the union or else they'd be fired. That practice is now unconstitutional. Since the agency fee era (pre-2018) allowed employees to be strong-armed into signing these authorizations, Dunleavy and others say they need to get another chance to decide if they want their money withheld. So Dunleavy is requiring new consents that give employees a free and clear choice, and the unions are ready to fight to the death over it, because they don't want union-represented employees to have another shot at making a clear and free choice. Now that the law of the land has changed as it concerns withholding money from public employees, shouldn't public employees have to clearly opt in to having their money withheld and sent to unions? Shouldn't new consents have to be signed?
  7. No. That's really all a bunch of nonsense. You also didn't refute anything I said. You just said negative and proceeded to spew a bunch of fantasy. Your half-baked notions of how health care should function and be paid for requires deprivation and amenable mortality. People don't support that. Including and especially staunch Republican-voting Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries.
  8. Most health care isn't shoppable. Big Pharma enjoys monopoly pricing as a means of financing new drug development (for basically the entire world's benefit, not just ours). Small towns don't have the volume to run competing hospitals and health clinics. "Government out of the whole she-bang" requires a repeal of Medicaid and Medicare, which even a majority of staunch Republicans would never actually support. Even health insurance companies undermine notions of "vicious capitalism" because they have to build out provider networks in order to be able to negotiate prices with providers, but the effect of having to create networks serves to restrict, or at least obfuscate, free market provider price competition. For "vicious capitalism" to control health care prices, we'd have to have a cash-only system that tolerates deprivation and amenable mortality. Most people, even the free marketeers, wouldn't want to actually follow through with that.
  9. If the money is not sitting in the pension fund, it is "unfunded" whether you don't like it being called that or not. The reality is the reality. The second thing is that you should not forget that it was both employers and employees who refused to fund these things, and by virtue of who these states are electing, that is continuing to happen in real time, right now. It's happening with Pritzker in Illinois who is reinstating the legality of pension spiking. That's an attack on pension funding. It's happening in New Jersey where Phil Murphy is absolutely beholden to labor unions who want their members to not have to fund the pensions. It's happening in Kentucky where a new governor is not willing to do much of anything about pensions except propose gambling as a means to help pour a little bit more money into the black hole of death that is the Kentucky pension fund. All of these states are obliged to fund their pensions and are actively refusing to do so by virtue of who they're electing. Sure. The bank will just foreclose on your home. Somewhat similarly, if these states (Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut) continue self-sabotaging, by electing people who actively undermine pension funding, the feds will eventually have to decide their fate, based on how generous (or not generous) the federal bailout of their state's bankrupt pension fund will be.
  10. Your source is trash, but even trash sources can be partially right -- most voters will not support fixing pension crises, which was what Bevin was trying to do. The fact that voters will consistently vote to self-sabotage themselves with public pensions is why most governors, even a lot of Republican ones, will chicken out and not actually try to fix them. Trying to fix them is tantamount to political suicide. Kentucky will be right behind Illinois and New Jersey asking the feds for a bailout. Their pension funding is an abject disaster.
  11. Partisanship is what it is. They typically defend their sitting presidents and then have no problems seeing their shortcomings when out of office.
  12. And there are lifelong Republican voters who acknowledge Trump is a lying clown making a mockery of the Presidency.
  13. Partisanship. This is what it means to be a partisan. Your question might as well be "why are partisans partisan?" I don't know. Because they are. Groupthink. It's annoying, right? Or are you a partisan too, whereby it's only annoying when the other guy does it?
  14. Why do I have to let you know otherwise? You were the one who said it so decisively. Which bill? A set of campaign talking points from Warren is not a "version."
  15. Which version? Democrats can hardly get even two of their presidential candidates to agree on MFA. Bernie has been presenting MFA ideas for years and years, and tons of Democrats have always had to bow out of supporting it because it's always so populist and balls-to-the-wall. If Democrats can't even scrape together a majority of their own internal support for it, how can this thing ever pass?
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