I have incontrovertible proof that Tax Payer Money supports Activision-Blizzard. How do I know this? Easily: I have the names of at least two probation officers who play World Of Warcraft.
The argument is as follows: Tax Payers pay taxes, fines and fees that fund County Government. These funds are then used to pay Public Employee Salaries. Ergo, Tax Payer Money pays for World of Warcraft.
What’s the big deal? Should a public employee be allowed to support Blizzard?
Gamers spend a significant amount of time and energy thinking about games. What if they waste time–and by extension, county money–by thinking about a game? What’s worse? If they take a paid holiday or a paid vacation day, they are clearly using tax payer money to pay for their habit of gaming.
Clearly, this is a threat to our democracy.
One of the problems with this and the equally fallacious “Tax Payer Money Supports Unions” argument is the artificial distinction between Tax Payer and Public Employee. That someone how, public employees are exempt from paying taxes. Here’s the deal: Public Employees are paid a salary. From said salary, I pay taxes (state and federal) and I also purchase goods and services that contribute to the county’s General Fund. As part of my salary, I pay union dues. It’s right there with my medicare, health care and vision plan contributions.
It’s my salary when I’m paid ever two weeks. At that point, the money is in the hands of a voter, a tax payer and a wow player who choses to use said money to support a union. Who has the right to take it away my money and my choice?
I love it. Thank you! I needed that!
I can agree to a point. Yes, the money is yours to do with as you will once it has reached your account, and yes, I also realize that public employees are taxpayers. The only issue that I have ever had, is the requirement of certain public employees to have to pay Union dues. As in they don’t have a choice, and in turn, are forced to take the money, provided by the taxpayer, and give it to the union. If a union member has the option of being a member or not, then it’s not an issue. This is why a lot of this has been brought up in Wisconsin. The teachers are required to join the union, in turn paying some $800 a year in dues.
On one hand, that is $800 (possibly taxed, not sure if that value is pre/post tax) that could be in the teacher’s hands if they weren’t required to be part of the union. This is a huge revenue stream for the public unions.
Another issue is the difference between private and public unions. Via “solidarity”, and “strikes”, a union can put a business out of business… this can’t happen to a state, they can continue to fund elections of officials who will side with them, allowing them to increase the benefits with little stopping them, as the official would be on their side. In turn, states end up with far more going into pensions, than they have coming back in from the public employees.
I don’t disagree with the purpose of a union, and the fact is back in the 30s-50s, they were needed, but now labor laws, OSHA, other legislation already do a lot of the work that unions now “fight” for. A person should have proper work conditions (OSHA), and should be able to be fairly paid (even including the new Fair Pay Act 2009). But just as it is in the private sector, benefits are exactly what they’re termed, “benefits”. They are incentives to help keep you happy with your job.
What I’m trying to get at, is that in all fairness, sure, the unions in WI agreed to change the benefits packages to match what Gov. Walker wanted… but who can guarantee that those changes won’t be immediately reverted upon the election of another governor? And this can be said for any state in the country.
And please I don’t mean to offend you in any way, and after reading some of your blog posts, I understand that you work your ass off. I never had anything against public employees, and know that they work just as hard as I do. (Well except for a few gov employees I work with here, but that’s a whole other can of worms.)