Governor prepared to pay minimum wage to state workers

June 23, 2010

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to pay minimum wage to state workers during July if lawmakers fail to agree on a new budget. [Los Angeles Times]

The threat came in the form of a memo from Debbie Endsley, the governor’s personnel director, to state agency and department heads.

“Absent a state budget, we will send instructions to the Controller to pay [minimum] wages … for the July pay period,” Endsley wrote in the widely-circulated memo.

The threat is intended to speed up the negotiating process and meet the upcoming July 1 deadline.

Schwarzenegger is also warning of the possibility of more furlough days for state workers.

The governor tried in 2008 to pay workers minimum wage when the budget talks stalemated, but state Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, refused. A lower court judge ruled against Chiang and the issue is now before the 3rd District Court of Appeals.

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I almost always disagree with Willow but he makes a good point. Every dollar worth of service or wage I get comes out of someone else’s pocket. Not a bad thing to keep in mind.

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Willow: Nice anti-union rant you’ve got going there; I’m curious about where you get all of your “facts”; to state that a thing is so because you say it is, is not a “fact”- it is most likely your opinion of what you perceive to be facts, but without any data to back up your assertions, without any links or urls to direct us to see what you are basing your assertions on, you are not actually using “facts”. I understand that there is a perception out there that most conservatives push as the “truth” that ONLY the unions have the where-with-all to mount effective lobbying, but that is not a “fact”. In that spirit, I give you a link to a report on who has spent the most money on lobbying in Sacramento. The top fifteen entities spent OVER ONE BILLION DOLLARS lobbying; of those fifteen, six are corporations, four are business associations, three are Indian tribes and the last two are labor unions. The top two happen to be the labor unions, I’ll grant you that, and they spent more than the business associations and the Indian tribes, but the corporations still spent the most. The link is to a p.d.f. file that is fairly large, so be patient while it loads if you have an older, slower computer. If you really really want to discuss facts here and not just opinion, make your case with some actual facts, please.

Oh, and I don’t expect to get many “thumbs up” on my posts on this topoic in this county because of this county’s large segment of people on the government payroll.

But here’s something all those who think they’re “entitled” to force others to give them all the perks they want and support them indefinitely will be facing probably in the very near future if things in this state and country don’t turn around quickly:

The historical fact about how “democracies” collapse is that once people realize they can lobby and petition the government to “give” them what they want, they do so. What their selfishness and greed clouds them from seeing is that “the government” doesn’t produce anything of its own to “give” them – everything they vote to “give” themselves is forcibly taken from someone else. What eventually happens over time is that as more and more people get onto the government dole, the percentage of “takers” exceeds the percentage of “givers”. The historical economic fact is that “democracies” self implode when the percentage reaches 60/40 – with 60% of the population is receiving some sort of government paycheck and benefits that the remaining 40% is supposed to support. Thus, “democracies” become the tool of the selfish and invariably vote themselves out of economic existence.

I heard just last night that our system is now around 50/50 and if Obama’s expansion of government and all the government employees required, and the unions, and all the other selfish “takers” of society get their way, it will progress towards 60/40 very quickly in the very near future.

So to all you selfish ones out there who have been programmed to think you’re “entitled” to impose your personal desires on others, realize this: your own selfishness is about to end your free ride.

God did not create a privileged class – people do. The 10 Commandments tell us not to lust after others people’s goods – that includes the fruits of our labor. If you want and forcibly take for yourself (even through man-made government laws, coercion, and thuggery) what you are not willing to give and share with others, then you are breaking God’s law. Christ also told us to do unto others what we want done to ourselves. I don’t see that reflected by those who would keep others from ever enjoying retirement because they want them to support their own retirement.

Shame on all the selfish “entitled” elitists. Your system of lusting after other people’s goods and stealing it under the color of law deserves to, and will eventually, collapse as it is not of God or of Love toward your fellow man.

And rightly so.

Well, I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but I actually agree with the Gov’s stance on the budget – pass a budget – on time – and stop the game playing for that is exactly what some in the legislature want to do – delay coming up with a budget until after the November election. Their tactic has nothing to do with serving the public but with serving special interests. (The last time I checked, CA has the highest paid legislature in the country – each person in the CA legislature gets paid $170,000./year which is about $30,000 more than the next highest paid state legislature – NY – which is about $15,000 higher than the next state. And we actually have people in the state legislature crying about the salary freeze. oh, how sad for them, my heart bleeds – NOT! I think it’s time the people of CA passed a law limiting the salaries of the legislature and take away the privilege of them giving themselves their own salaries, benes, & perks, which they have obviously abused. If you want to know why the cost of living is so high in CA, look at your state legislature.)

The fact is, the unions have a stranglehold on this state. The exorbitant benefits package they have forced on us is absolutely non-sustainable and quite frankly, insulting to every hard working person in the private sector who has to pay for it. Many people in the private sector will NEVER be able to retire as they are FORCED to pay for the retirements of every politician, every public employee, and continue to support all the less fortunate, and all the illegals. So when does the hard working private sector ever get a break? Ever get to stop working? NEVER!

Fact is, the unions have decimated the average private working man’s ability to take care of himself in his old age. How many people in the private sector live off minimum wage? How many can afford to save for their own retirement? The entire system is totally obtuse and needs to be thrown out. Public workers do NOT have a RIGHT to FORCE others to support them forever as no one in the private sector has the RIGHT to force others to support them forever either. And this whole notion of levying property taxes against people’s home and people losing their homes if they don’t pay the thugs who want the $$ for their own personal benefit packages is very anti-American. Look into the history of why the original colonies revolted against England. Let’s even the playing field once and for all and stop supporting and creating a privileged class.

What’s even more reprehensible is the fact that the unions themselves FORBID their own employees from unionizing. Yup, you heard that right. Go look it up. So what’s good for the goose is NOT good for the gander, eh?

Schwarznegger wants to cut waste and fraud and I’m all for it. In fact, I think ALL public workers should do what those in the private sector have to do – save money out of their own salaries for their own retirements. Anything else is elitism and that mentality is exactly what’s destroying this country, destroying property rights, destroying individual rights, freedom, and liberty in this country.

Enough with this “entitlement” mentality!


seybert: I agree with what you say, if what you are saying is that state employees are pawns in a strange game of brinksmanship. Don’t forget to reserve some blame for Congress, who again is failing to pas a budget on time.

Words alone can not express the contempt I have for this man and his tactics. Schwarzenegger is a multi-millionaire and he has decided that state employees – human beings – should have their livelihoods destroyed because he has failed in his promises (empty such as they were) to effectively manage the state.

The State of California’s troubles are NOT the fault of wages paid to people who provide services for the citizens. This tactic only proves the depravity of this man. Most of these people live responsible lives, paying their bills and maintaining a balance from paycheck-to-paycheck. Some have already seen wage cuts in the form of furloughs equally 20 percent of their income. Reducing them to minimum wage would force many of them out of their homes, put their children on the street and make them wards of the very state that forced them into bankruptcy.

It is easy to point fingers at state workers and blame them for California’s problems. Perhaps Mr. Schwarzenegger should look back to his family’s personal history in Austria to a time when the leader of a neighboring country blamed society’s problems on a group of people who were easy to hate.

Making one group of people the scapegoat for problems they did not create, nor over which they have any control, is cowardly; the action of, as Arnold would say, “A girlie man.”

Schwarzenegger and his GOP cohorts need to look in the mirror for someone to blame. Lawmakers beholden to, or afraid of, the Prop 13/Jarvis/No Tax Mafia are the real reason for our trouble. If we can break the stranglehold these people have on us, the Golden State will shine again.

Two things on this. First I do agree with you that the state employees are not to blame. I agree that their wages should not be cut to minimum wage. What they should do is reduce the work force and when times are better hirer back. That is what is done in the private sector.

Second on the evils you mention of Prop. 13. Why was prop. 13 brought about? It was run away properity taxes with no end in sight. So it was thought that if we limit it, we could make the legislature live within a budget. So what did the legislature do in the ensuing 30+ years? KEEP SPENDING MONEY!!!!!!!!!!! This is NOT the fault of Prop 13 or Jarvis or people against MORE taxes. This is the fault of a legislature that CAN NOT SAY NO! Simple as that and nothing else.

You’ve got to be kidding me, you think Prop 13 is the problem? Let me tell you about Prop 13: An acquaintance recently purchased property in Oceano on the east side of Highway 1, probably one of the lower valued areas in the entire county. His property taxes, broken down into monthly payments, is close to $600/month, that’s in addition to his house payment and insurance. His business income has declined and he’s working out of the area to make ends meet. Lift Prop 13 and you will eliminate home ownership in CA for all but the rich. The American Dream will be just that – a dream.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that is beyond what I’m allowed to post here.

Right on Jim. With respect to prop 13 and the other replies to your post I think relief for some property owners is called for. But I voted against it because it was feared to be a big boon for owners of large properties and corporations. If I remember right our dear PG and E benefited greatly from that, as well as other rapacious companies in our midst. I completely agree with the ‘Prop 13/Jarvis/No Tax Mafia’ comment you make. It has become another ‘hot button’ in our conversation about politics, blown out of proportion to its worth. The endless ‘tax and spend’ accusations hurled at liberals is typical of our dysfunctional political environment. Taxes are the only revenue our government (at all levels) derives to fund the many services we depend on. We could always strive for more efficiency (value for money spent) but the insulting simplicity of the phrase is beneath thoughtful people (of course that rules out a large percentage of the population).

When the ultra conservative ‘anti tax and spend’ neo cons were in power at every level they taxed and spent (even way beyond their income) our money like water, putting us in the largest deficit position in history-AFTER inheriting a surplus from the Clinton years. That always happens (Reagan did it too). So yeah, the prop 13 anti tax mafia is in full swing-even against their own interests. Prop 13 should have been limited to medium and low-income property owners. When enacted we saw a huge decline in services, library hours and so on.