And Some Thoughts On Tax Day
Jeffery points us to Times-Picayune coverage of some local folks trying to start a union. How dare they try to get paid better for the work that they do! How dare they try to get off food stamps and housing vouchers!
Take, for example, these incidents of obvious union intimidation.
On a related note, and just in time for tax day, there was much ado about the rather misleading news that 47% of Americans pay no taxes. My parents called me up and acted shocked to hear this. Some folks on the radio and blogs seem to think this 47% of the population is getting some sort of "free ride" and have voted themselves out of responsibility.
On the other hand, I find it appalling that so many of us don't make enough money to qualify for tax liability. I've worked plenty of places, most notably in the RSD, side by side with employees of the businesses who got the food and custodial contracts. Sure didn't look like many of them were getting a free ride.
I realized when doing my taxes that the only reason I paid any taxes at all is because I'm single. If I were married and my household lived off my salary, or if I had a kid to be supported on this salary, I'd be close to qualifying for food stamps and Section 8. If I made slightly less under such conditions, I'd definitely qualify.
Having worked in the RSD, I can tell you that my current job requires far less effort than working in school food-service or custodial fields. But they get paid much, much less. But that's the nature of "small government" philosophy: our government is still paying outrageously for services, they're just using the lowest bidding contractor to do it instead of hiring in-house. The low bids come in not because the business moves more efficiently, puts a better focus on service, or pays their executives any less exhorbitantly than other monopolies: they get it by sacrificing product quality and paying their workers less. Hell, I'm told that some contractors wouldn't even put toilet paper in the bathrooms of the public schools before the federal flood and state takeover.
If you don't believe me, visit your local at-risk school and pay the $3 for lunch.