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Blue Model Blues
Can the Supreme Court Avert a Blue Civil War?
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  • GS

    The court should not defang, but castrate them.

    • M Snow

      I vote for both.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Nuke them from orbit, it is the only way to be sure

        • M Snow

          Better still.

  • lukelea

    Nice analysis. If only the public unions had tied their wage and pension demands to average rates in the surrounding private economy, a least the fiscal dimension of of this crisis could have been avoided. It is simply not realistic for public employees to enjoy better pay and benefits than employees in the private sector, who not only work for less but work harder and with less job security. But that is not the course that municipal history has taken. Do the same arguments apply to state and federal civil service workers?

  • f1b0nacc1

    While I entirely concur, let me point out that the damage has been done. The heart of the problem is that the public sector unions have already put into place unsustainable pension/benefit plans, many for retirees who are not likely to agree to any changes in them, and will be sustained by the courts. We can (possibly) limit the damage, and perhaps take some painful steps to start to roll things back, but the bulk of the problem is likely beyond our control.

  • Pete

    The three dingbats on the court just might vote against the unions if they’d see this case as a black vs. white thing.

    If they do, then unions lose.

  • FriendlyGoat

    This is likely going to be 5/4 against the unions with the five justices from one gender (male), one party (Republican) and one church (Catholic) doing the ruling by themselves.

    • Jim__L

      Huh, I thought race was the biggest identity racket in this country. Oh wait! If you included that in your list there it wouldn’t be convenient. Bad enough that there’s a Catholic that doesn’t fit the pattern, but let’s just sweep that under the rug.

      The fact is that it’s nothing short of theft for teachers to have their wages garnished to pay for organizations that have absolutely nothing to do with delivering quality work and everything to do with political kickbacks.

      Four members of the Supreme Court may have trouble with that fact. That may be because they’re D-side shills rather than anyone who could be referred to as a “justice” without blushing. Picking at what identity group they may or may not be members of is so utterly irrelevant you should be ashamed to bring it up packaged as analysis.

      Do people over on the Left really think, “I do X because I am Y”?. How does that even begin to approach rational thought?

      • FriendlyGoat

        I’m just predicting what might happen and who might do it. It’s not my fault that the conservative activism from this Court to overturn reasonable precedents has come from one gender, one party and one church—-but it has. These five, acting together as a bloc, have produced many horrible decisions all by themselves for nearly a decade. It’s not unfair to consider who they are and where they come from.

        • CapitalHawk

          “It’s not unfair to consider who they are and where they come from.”

          So, after the young, male, muslim sex assaults in Germany/Europe, do you still stand by that statement? And if so, after you have considered who they are and where they come from, what do you propose, if anything, with respect to immigration into the USA and Europe?

          I know this is off topic of this post, but it directly relates to the points you have made here (i.e. that gender, political affiliation and religion matter a lot).

          • FriendlyGoat

            Okay, it’s off topic, but we can go there. Yes, of course we have to consider who young Muslim males are and where they come from when apparently the perpetrators of crimes in Europe and/or the USA. But you know as well as I do that religious tests for admission of any people to any place are fraught with Constitutional problems AND the practical problems of being likely impossible to fashion to be effective and even remotely fraud-proof.

            Back to the Court. Not all Catholics see things as Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy do. Sonia Sotormayor apparently does not, for instance. So, with the Court, we need to be highlighting what five men of one gender—-AND—one party—–AND—-one church are doing to America. If this coincidence was more recognized in our population, the five would be doing less of what they are doing for the sake of appearances. That’s the point.

          • CapitalHawk

            Religious tests for admission into the USA may or may not face constitutional problems. The US has given special priority to certain religious groups in the past, I think it could probably give special non-priority to certain religious groups now. It could also bar giving green cards to people based on country of origin, which would bar the majority of muslims if you selected the correct countries (obviously not all).

            I recognize the fraud possibility with respect to religion, which is why the barring of green cards to people originating from certain countries may be the better solution.

            Finally, barring entry based on religion would absolutely not be a legal problem for the Europeans, if the were to choose to do it. It’s pretty hard to claim that you don’t have religious preferences when you actually have a state religion (see, e.g., the Church of England).

          • FriendlyGoat

            Noting that we are now off topic to this thread, we have to consider the likely reality that policies of exclusion will have some unintended consequences. I am not personally going to make the admission of Muslims one of “my” big issues for opining. I do recognize that Europe and the USA are going to have growing sentiment to move in such a direction. I think the consequences will include these:

            1) People seeking to get out of Islamic places and maybe even completely out of Islam itself—–which we WANT every Muslim to do as a matter of philosophy—–will be thwarted.

            2) “Freedom of Religion”, as a principle, will be badly harmed. Tolerance, as a philosophy, will be ridiculed. This is serious bad news for any country or the world.

            3) Muslims seeking to get into Europe or America to do terrorism or to “Islamize” society will get in anyway.

            4) Islam as a whole will be given a new bandwagon on which to criticize infidels as a whole.

          • Jim__L

            1) Events are ridiculing Tolerance as a philosophy — at least Tolerance taken to an absurd extreme.

            2) The ideal way to advance Freedom of Religion in this case is to use diplomatic (and perhaps even military) power to shatter any Middle Eastern nation’s laws against apostasy.

            3) No… no they won’t. Not in the masses they’re coming nowadays. It is possible to reduce the flux of Muslims by two orders of magnitude, maybe more.

            The measures necessary for those reductions would change things, but this is the point where we have to ask if the changes that will happen if we do nothing are better or worse than the changes necessary to reduce destructive migrations. The answer to that is not clear-cut, and minds are changing as people realize exactly what the stakes are.

            4) If we had the demographics to support our civilization, they could criticize all they wanted and we’d be happily on our way. As it is, the social mores of recent generations — not completely anomalous in the history of the West, but definitely the extreme swing of the pendulum — have left us open to domination through migration.

          • Jim__L

            FG, if it’s a coincidence, by the commonly held meaning of the word it *shouldn’t* be recognized as important.

            Fortunately the Supreme Court has a habit of writing out reasoned arguments for their decisions, arguments based on principles (rather than “appearances”).

            Honestly, is the Left really all about identity signalling and appearances? Again I’d like to ask, what does that have to do with rational thought, as opposed to, say, mob mentality?

            Also, could you please address the kickback problem — the idea that politicians vote higher pay for teachers, which then gets garnished by the union and then donated to the political campaigns of Democrats? Isn’t that the very definition of a kickback?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Many people believe most or all of the conservative 5/4 decisions of recent years were very bad decisions. The “reasoned arguments” written for bad decisions are, by definition, bad arguments. The idea, for instance, that collective bargaining is to be neutered by some hoodoo about the First Amendment is patently ridiculous. The idea that unlimited secret money should be permitted to influence elections has NO rational justification. The idea that GOP states can be trusted to independently preserve voting rights is absurd. When these sorts of outrages happen to be rubbing off on the entirety of Catholics—-by association—-yes, there is an appearance problem. I maintain that not nearly enough people are even aware of the situation and connection.

            As for kickbacks, let’s see. Politicians vote for tax cuts for the conservative owner class which then puts the saved money back into politics to elect more conservatives and pack the courts with conservatives too, you say? Oh, you didn’t say. But you should have. Don’t lecture me about kickbacks. Logic is not on your side on that.

          • Jim__L

            There’s an important reason I didn’t bring up what you call “kickbacks”… that money belonged to the donors in the first place. You’re obviously free to resent that, but there is a meaningful difference between private money that the owner decides to allocate, and public tax money that a politician decides to allocate to a political ally who will then give them a cut.

            Let’s cut to what I see as our fundamental misunderstanding. The basic fact is, at root, the money of the each citizen of this country belongs to that citizen. Tax money remains taxpayer money, even when it is in the hands of the government. To cut taxes is not (as you seem to think) to take something away from the government that is somehow the government’s by right. The government has no fundamental right to any given dollar of mine, or anyone else’s. When the government keeps its hands off someone’s money, that is in no way a “kickback”.

            The justification for allowing money to influence elections is that campaign money really doesn’t have the effect that some people fear. The frontrunner in the “money primary” has been different from the actual nominee in a large number of cases, and enough candidates lose while dramatically outspending their opponents, that some people (like myself) just aren’t that worried about it.

            (Honestly FG, I was a bit concerned about money in politics before I
            started talking to you, but the more you pushed the “money always turns politics inside-out” line, the more I looked into whether it was so, the more I see that it isn’t so.)

            So why are non-union members so worried about the unions giving away that money to politicians? For one, because **that money is not the union’s to give**. As I explained above, it’s not even really the politician’s to give!

            If anything, it’s money provided by the taxpayers to recompense the teachers for their time and effort. Those are the only two groups with any right to it — the taxpayers and the teachers. The fact that any of it ends up in the union’s pockets and then in the politicians’ pockets is a totally corrupt cycle, which needs to be cut off completely.

            As for the First Amendment, how is it NOT violating someone’s rights to garnish their wages to give to a politician with whom they emphatically disagree?

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) As to your last question, “garnish their wages” is a right-wing lie akin to calling Gift and Estate Tax “the Death Tax”. You know better, because you know that the financial benefits flowing to public employees from collective bargaining far exceed any amounts paid in for dues—–past or future. For that matter, the financial benefits flowing to virtually all workers from liberal government policies and from the residual effects of past collective bargaining far exceed the dues paid to obtain them. Without the union movement—-all of it—-we would be a country of lords and serfs.

            2) This case has religious overtones BECAUSE there are no teachers who “emphatically disagree” with good wages or working conditions negotiated on their behalf. The teachers who are litigating are most likely mad at abortion and gay marriage because of church influence and, as a result, have agreed to be used as litigants for the benefit of other conservatives seeking high-end tax cuts.

            3) You have not yet seen the effect of conservative money in politics in the 2016 election. You WILL see it the general, not the primary.

            4) You are correct in the second paragraph that we have a fundamental disagreement as to who owns the rights to all wealth.
            I do not agree that those who happen to have title necessarily have exclusive right and claim—-PARTICULARLY WHEN THIS IS USED TO IMPLY THAT THE LABOR OF EMPLOYEES HAS NO INTRINSIC VALUE BEING EXCHANGED DAILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF EMPLOYERS, BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. To hear you guys tell it, the employees are all moochers unless they work dirty cheap. The entire history of taxation and the entire history (and necessity) of public works in this country and all others proves otherwise. I know you and other conservatives like to play your “my money” argument, and I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself for stooping to it. There are TOO MANY people doing TOO MANY things for us—-for which we should be grateful—-to talk in such ways.

            5) Your more-or-less exclusive talk about teachers suggests to me that you somehow expect a law-enforcement carve-out in a decision against unions.

          • Jim__L

            1) Nonsense. Teachers’ unions have actually flatly refused offers such as, “We’ll triple your pay scale if you’ll accept the firing of incompetent teachers.” There is more than enough room to argue teachers’ unions do NOT effectively bargain for the teachers they represent.

            And even if they did, that wouldn’t give them the right to confiscate money from teachers who thought that the unions (and politicians) were committing malfeasance with that money.

            2) There you go again about the “high-end tax cut” bogeyman. It seems that you won’t change your mind, and you won’t change the subject. Being resolute is one thing, but it’s certainly taken to a fault when that isn’t the subject to begin with.

            3) To put this gently — it is not clear why money should have a tendency to influence general elections but not primaries. The explanation that fits the facts is that money talks, but voters don’t really listen unless it’s a message that resonates with voters. If the message resonates with voters’ values and aspirations, does that not mean that voters’ values and aspirations are being respected?

            The richest, slickest politician has to find a message that works to get elected. Guess who decides what works? Voters. (Not Lefties, and that drives Lefties absolutely mad.)

            4) When in the world did I imply that labor has no intrinsic value? I’m the one arguing that teachers should take home the pay they’ve earned, instead of having it confiscated by unions to provide kickbacks to politicians many (or most) teachers would never give money to voluntarily.

            One other issue here though — if taxpayers can’t afford the costs of any given type of labor, the taxpayers have to *forego* engaging that labor. If you can’t afford something, you do without, (or do without spending on lesser priorities) no matter which Lefty sky-castles will not be built because of that. Again, this drives Lefties madder than an aggressive squeegie man.

            5) I talk about it because I have more background on the subject. My family and social circles contain many teachers — teachers that certainly complain about teachers’ unions — but few police officers.

            The thing about when someone doesn’t say anything about a subject is, you don’t really know what it is they’re not saying.

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) There is neither a source of funds nor a citizen inclination to triple the pay of teachers everywhere under any circumstance.

            2) Conservatism exists and is funded for no purpose but advantage to people who already have a lot of money. This is not a bogeyman. It is history.

            3) If conservatives believed advertising had no purpose, they wouldn’t do any. I assume you’ll notice when they flood us with it.

            4) The general idea that taxpayers own all rights to their assets and earnings regardless of the myriad services provided to them via government is proof enough. Your comments are full of the conservative line that taxes are some kind of theft. It’s a crock.

            5) In a comment section we REALLY don’t worry much about what you and your “circles” think but don’t say. In a comment section you either have a point to share or you don’t.

          • Jim__L

            1) In Silicon Valley, teachers start at about $40k, and with the right degree you could start at least 2.5x higher than that. That pay structure keeps talented people out of teaching, which is a problem that should be solved — but can’t with the Teachers’ Unions we have.

            2) Prosperity and Conservatism go together for two reasons. One, the principles of Conservatism (in America particularly) are cultural assets that lead naturally to prosperity. Two, people who have figured out how to prosper under a system naturally enough want to keep that system in place. (Leftytechies are a fascinating yet destructive anomaly in this respect.) The simple fact is, the vast majority of American Conservatives would like nothing better than to see pretty much everyone else in the country adopt our principles and become as prosperous as we are.

            3) Conservatives make no secret that advertising is a means to “get the message out”. That message is then judged by voters. Allowing the voters to judge is the whole point of elections, isn’t it?

            I’m not saying that there is no such thing as a very rich person paying off politicians for access. What I am definitely saying is that politicians are more than a bit foolish for taking the deal — that money doesn’t make as much difference as they’d like to believe, in whether they get to keep their jobs. It also doesn’t make as much difference to donors as the donors hope — in the immortal words of California’s Willie Brown, “If you’re not someone who can take people’s money and then screw them over, you don’t belong in this business.”

            4) Note the squeegie-man reference. If someone comes up to your car completely unsolicited, (or even specifically asked not to!) and wipes down your windows, you owe them nothing.

            If a Conservative says, “I don’t think government should be involved in a particular economic activity”, and a Leftist makes government involved in that activity anyway and then sends the Conservative a bill, that’s equivalent to the unwanted squeegie-man above. When the Leftist then coerces the Conservative via tax laws, that is in fact judicial theft.

            5) My point was that you read too much into my silence about police unions, and I was trying to clarify what that silence meant. I apologize if that wasn’t clear.

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) To repeat, there is no money and no citizen inclination to pay teachers 2.5 or three times what they now are paid—-not in California or anywhere else. The unions simply are NOT holding back the pay of their members. You can quote an anecdote and I (using nothing more than common sense) can know unequivocally that there is no state budget in America that can or will support the multiples you have thrown out here for dramatic effect. We ain’t crazy, Jim.

            2) Nine heavily-populated occupations in the USA are these:

            Retail salespersons, 4.48 million workers earning $25,370

            Cashiers 3.34 million workers earning $20,420

            Food prep and serving staff, 3.02 million workers earning $18,880

            General office clerk, 2.83 million working earning $29,990

            Waiters and waitresses, 2.40 million workers earning $20,880

            Customer service representatives, 2.39 million workers earning $33,370

            Laborers, and freight and material movers, 2.28 million workers earning $26,690

            Secretaries and admins (not legal or medical), 2.16 million workers earning $34,000

            Janitors and cleaners (not maids), 2.10 million workers earning, $25,140

            There is nothing about a person becoming a conservative which makes his or her situation in one of these twenty-some million jobs more prosperous. Neither is there anything about the adoption of conservative “principles” in government which allows “pretty much everyone else in the country” to move up and out of these jobs and become “as prosperous as we (the conservatives) are”.

            Political Conservatism plans to do nothing whatsoever for people in these types of jobs but cut spending on any (or all) of the social programs they may benefit from and dilute the labor laws which may somewhat protect them. That’s it. There is nothing else there other than maybe making their abortions unobtainable or enriching their bosses with tax cuts.

            3) To repeat, the conservatives will spend colossal amounts of money on advertising in the general election. You can claim it has no intended effect on voters and no practical effects on outcomes and I’ll claim you’re spinning—-again—another of the conservatives’ outright lies.

            4) Your squeegie-man example is just sick and lame of logic. Did you hear that from a hack or make it up all by yourself?

            5) I “read into” your statements about teachers that your political side has a burr under its saddle about teachers and more generally idolizes law enforcement. We’ll have to see how that plays out in the subject court case.

    • Boritz

      “the case is going to be decided on politics with a scent of religion”

      Here is the important part: “The breakdown of the blue model is inexorable”
      That means the case is just a battle in a war that is going to be decided by reality. The unions will be (among) the losers.

      • FriendlyGoat

        We had these five, acting alone, put unlimited conservative money into elections with Citizens United and McCutcheon. Now the POLITICAL goal is to also cripple unions so that liberal money is taken out of elections. The trail is not hard to follow. All the “blue model” smoke in the world does not change the questionable nature of who is doing what to whom and for what purpose.

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