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  1. #1
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    Default Bad news for Toledo Fire

    Sources say 125 firefighters, the class in the academy of 35-ish (with only a few weeks to go, 125 LEOs, and 60 "other" city employees received lay-off notices this morning...
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    Sign of the times...
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    The times they are a changing. Expect this trend to continue for another 5 to 10 years.

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    TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo Mayor Mike Bell has issued layoff notices to 137 city workers, including 125 police officers. The mayor's plan includes eliminating 20 vacant positions, and would only go into effect on April 15 if city council and the administration fail to iron out a balanced budget plan by March 31.

    Layoff notices to 125 firefighters have been put on hold for now.

    http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=12142713
    "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." - Vince Lombardi

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The times they are a changing. Expect this trend to continue for another 5 to 10 years.
    So could you explain why you feel this is so? One would assume with the increase of retirees and and aging population the need for EMTs and Firefighters would increase. I was just wondering on what data you are basing your assessment...

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    Deleted. Nevermind

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwooder View Post
    So could you explain why you feel this is so? One would assume with the increase of retirees and and aging population the need for EMTs and Firefighters would increase. I was just wondering on what data you are basing your assessment...
    Because the economy as a whole will not turn around for many years to come. In fact, we may never return to the glory days as more and more jobs go off shore and the American Standard of living drops to that of the rest of the world. We now live in a Global Economy. That means American workers are competing with Japanese and Chinese workers who make a $1 a day. We are competing with the taxi cab driver in India who lives in his cab.

    The days of wine and roses are over my friend. The American Way of life is gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Because the economy as a whole will not turn around for many years to come. In fact, we may never return to the glory days as more and more jobs go off shore and the American Standard of living drops to that of the rest of the world. We now live in a Global Economy. That means American workers are competing with Japanese and Chinese workers who make a $1 a day. We are competing with the taxi cab driver in India who lives in his cab.

    The days of wine and roses are over my friend. The American Way of life is gone.
    I think you may have over simplified our new global economy and at the same time confused public vs private spending. What you have pointed to are issues that are driving the economy that are based on private enterprise. Will these issues effect us on the public end on things? Yes, but it is a ripple effect. I would assert that what has had a greater effect on public employees in the anti-government/tax crowd that has confused government and state spending with local government spending. By limiting local governments ability to generate revenue through legislation, in combination with our temporary economic downturn we have severely limited our ability to provide services to our citizens.

    I am also confused as to how the "taxi cab driver in India" is competing for my job. If I am a firefighter, police officer, teacher, garbage man, sanitation worker, water works employee, or any of the many other types of public employees in the United States how will these people you have referred to replace me? I would like to hear you theory.

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    Why is it always FF and LEOs and not secretaries, trash collectors, road workers, janitors, maintenance workers or appointed positions getting laid off? How about stopping giving money away to pet projects?

    I sure hope that does(n't) have his house robbed and there be no cops around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwooder View Post
    I think you may have over simplified our new global economy and at the same time confused public vs private spending. What you have pointed to are issues that are driving the economy that are based on private enterprise. Will these issues effect us on the public end on things? Yes, but it is a ripple effect. I would assert that what has had a greater effect on public employees in the anti-government/tax crowd that has confused government and state spending with local government spending. By limiting local governments ability to generate revenue through legislation, in combination with our temporary economic downturn we have severely limited our ability to provide services to our citizens.

    I am also confused as to how the "taxi cab driver in India" is competing for my job. If I am a firefighter, police officer, teacher, garbage man, sanitation worker, water works employee, or any of the many other types of public employees in the United States how will these people you have referred to replace me? I would like to hear you theory.
    He's a simpleton... what did you expect?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    He's a simpleton... what did you expect?
    No doubt; but surely Wikipedia has more to offer on the subject than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwooder View Post
    I think you may have over simplified our new global economy and at the same time confused public vs private spending. What you have pointed to are issues that are driving the economy that are based on private enterprise. Will these issues effect us on the public end on things? Yes, but it is a ripple effect. I would assert that what has had a greater effect on public employees in the anti-government/tax crowd that has confused government and state spending with local government spending. By limiting local governments ability to generate revenue through legislation, in combination with our temporary economic downturn we have severely limited our ability to provide services to our citizens.
    It is all government spending. I hear people say things like we can spend it locally because they are federal or state tax dollars. I really don't care which agency collected the tax, it still came out of my pocket and all government spending comes out of the pocket of the tax payer at some level. I am well aware of the mandates that are imp lace and not paid for by the state or federal government. Sort of like mandating health insurance and then telling me I have to pay for it. My opinion on this crap is that if any governmental body is going to mandate something then they should pay for it. This includes things like Medicaid, Medicare, school psychologist, seat belts, bike helmets, car inspections, you name it. Anything that I do not buy of free will should be paid for my the entity requiring it.

    I am also confused as to how the "taxi cab driver in India" is competing for my job. If I am a firefighter, police officer, teacher, garbage man, sanitation worker, water works employee, or any of the many other types of public employees in the United States how will these people you have referred to replace me? I would like to hear you theory.

    Very well, I'll tell you. In this country we used to have factory workers and blue collar workers making $60k, $70K and over $100K a year. Based on that salary they could afford to pay $10K a year for public services. This is an estimate for illustrative purposes. Those people lose their jobs to foreigners who are willing to work for $5 a day, or $250 a year. Suddenly, they need to make up $100K dollars. They now have $0 to support public services. They get a new job that now pays $10 per hour. That is $20,000 a year. The money to support that public infrastructure from the golden years is gone. Its not here. Around here, the city is destroying homes that it owns and cannot resell. A sign that the tax base is eroding and there simply isn't the support for those services anymore. People are walking away from $100,000 homes. And they remain vacant simply because people cannot afford them.

    The standard of living in this country is going to equalize itself with other countries. And while private companies have been quick to respond to the change, the government keeps handing out raises and bonuses and spending money like a bunch of drunken soldiers. One day they will wake up and realize they have driven this country into a hole that it cannot dig itself out of. And that day is getting closer all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    He's a simpleton... what did you expect?
    Yes. I prefer the simple life. Keep the government out of things and life is much simpler and better. In fact, this country was founded on the principle of less government, something also know as Liberty and Justice for all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    It is all government spending. I hear people say things like we can spend it locally because they are federal or state tax dollars. I really don't care which agency collected the tax, it still came out of my pocket and all government spending comes out of the pocket of the tax payer at some level. I am well aware of the mandates that are imp lace and not paid for by the state or federal government. Sort of like mandating health insurance and then telling me I have to pay for it. My opinion on this crap is that if any governmental body is going to mandate something then they should pay for it. This includes things like Medicaid, Medicare, school psychologist, seat belts, bike helmets, car inspections, you name it. Anything that I do not buy of free will should be paid for my the entity requiring it.
    What catches me in your reply is this quote: "My opinion on this crap is that if any governmental body is going to mandate something then they should pay for it." You also give some examples: "...things like Medicaid, Medicare, school psychologist, seat belts, bike helmets, car inspections..." Three of your example are paid for by taxes (Medicaid, Medicare, and school psychologists). The other three fall in to the main functions of any government (ensuring our safety, health, welfare, and morals). My argument to you sir, would be that taxes are a good thing. They are, as the quote goes, "the price we pay for civilization." It is thanks to taxes that we have roads, highways, schools, fire departments, sewers, water lines, garbage collection, dikes to hold back mighty rivers, safe food and drugs, secure boarders, a first rate millitary, maintained water ways and many other items to numerous to mention.




    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Very well, I'll tell you. In this country we used to have factory workers and blue collar workers making $60k, $70K and over $100K a year. Based on that salary they could afford to pay $10K a year for public services. This is an estimate for illustrative purposes. Those people lose their jobs to foreigners who are willing to work for $5 a day, or $250 a year. Suddenly, they need to make up $100K dollars. They now have $0 to support public services. They get a new job that now pays $10 per hour. That is $20,000 a year. The money to support that public infrastructure from the golden years is gone. Its not here. Around here, the city is destroying homes that it owns and cannot resell. A sign that the tax base is eroding and there simply isn't the support for those services anymore. People are walking away from $100,000 homes. And they remain vacant simply because people cannot afford them.
    I can see what you are trying to say with this argument. I do not agree with it however. What you are postulating is a very simplified version of the events of the last 30 years of the American economy. To blame every bit of our economic ills on moving jobs to off shore locations is a very difficult supposition to make. Let me give you an example. The American steel industry was the world leader for over 80 years. It grew because of our large amounts of raw material and the ease it had in shipping its goods (most of the steel industry being based in areas that had access to the Great Lakes.) What happened to this industry was an increase in technology that made it cheaper for developing areas to make steel that was of equal (if not better) quality to American steel. This change in market forces forced a decline in the American steel industry. What does this show? It shows that basing your argument on a purely salary basis is tenuous at best.

    As to your tax base argument I would assert that a government with a good handle on finances would create a tax base that is a classic "three legged stool." (The three legs being property taxes, income taxes, and either a sales tax or equivalent fees on services.) By basing finances on this approach you have the ability to protect the government from financial crisis like we are in now. Governments that are facing issues right now (such as Detroit, Toledo, and even states such as California and Oregon) have usually place limits on the taxes they can collect and have limits in place as to what their revenue sources can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The standard of living in this country is going to equalize itself with other countries. And while private companies have been quick to respond to the change, the government keeps handing out raises and bonuses and spending money like a bunch of drunken soldiers. One day they will wake up and realize they have driven this country into a hole that it cannot dig itself out of. And that day is getting closer all the time.
    Once again in this quote I feel you have confused several levels of government. I assume by your "driven this country into a hole that it cannot dig itself out of" comment that you are referring to the national debt. This is a complex and confusing subject (one that I feel can not be adequately addressed in a forum post) but needless to say some of are the thought that nation debt in times of fiscal crisis is a good thing. Also, as to your "raises and bonuses" comment I would retort that the public sector bonus system pales in comparison to the ones we have seen in the private sector. Also, our standard of living is very unlikely to "equalize" with other countries. What we have that many countries you are referring to do not have is infrastructure. An infrastructure built with blue collar hands and financed with tax dollars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Yes. I prefer the simple life. Keep the government out of things and life is much simpler and better. In fact, this country was founded on the principle of less government, something also know as Liberty and Justice for all.
    Actually our country was founded on the basis that the government we had was not responsive to our our needs. The Declaration of Independence is an excellent document to explore if you need further education on the subject. After the well known opening and oft quoted opening sections what the Declaration actually is is a list of the slights and wrongs committed on the colonies by King George and Parliament.

    Saying we are based on less government and "Liberty and Justice for all" is a VAST oversimplification and in some ways totally wrong.

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    Backwooder, you're talking to a brick wall there, pal, but doggone do I like your debating and argument style. Well done!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwooder View Post
    Actually our country was founded on the basis that the government we had was not responsive to our our needs. The Declaration of Independence is an excellent document to explore if you need further education on the subject. After the well known opening and oft quoted opening sections what the Declaration actually is is a list of the slights and wrongs committed on the colonies by King George and Parliament.

    Saying we are based on less government and "Liberty and Justice for all" is a VAST oversimplification and in some ways totally wrong.
    Let me grab a few phrases

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.... All men are created equal. That sounds a lot like liberty and justice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwooder View Post
    What catches me in your reply is this quote: "My opinion on this crap is that if any governmental body is going to mandate something then they should pay for it." You also give some examples: "...things like Medicaid, Medicare, school psychologist, seat belts, bike helmets, car inspections..." Three of your example are paid for by taxes (Medicaid, Medicare, and school psychologists). The other three fall in to the main functions of any government (ensuring our safety, health, welfare, and morals).
    You seem to have missed the part about Medicaid is mandated by the state and federal government, yet the localities must pay for it. In NYS, where I live, over 50% of the local tax bill funds medicaid.

    ...ensuring our safety, health, welfare, and morals... By whos definition? I consider doing a wheelie on a road bike at 55 mph perfectly safe, you may not. One personal choices should not be dictated by a government. Ensuring safety, health, and welfare at the government level means that we are protected from foreign invasion, people are not allowed to kill or injury other people. That is the extent.

    As for morals forget it. That is not the function of government at all. Many people think it is morally wrong to be gay, have abortions, exclude god from public places, have a death penalty, and numerous other things. Morals are not dictated by a government. Once the government thinks for you, then you become one of the sheep, and you are no longer free.


    My argument to you sir, would be that taxes are a good thing. They are, as the quote goes, "the price we pay for civilization." It is thanks to taxes that we have roads, highways, schools, fire departments, sewers, water lines, garbage collection, dikes to hold back mighty rivers, safe food and drugs, secure boarders, a first rate millitary, maintained water ways and many other items to numerous to mention.
    Taxes are a necessary evil needed to support a military (which should be 100% stationed in this country), an interstate highway system, secure the borders, provide law enforcement, and take care of the daily operations of the government. Things like Water systems, Sewer systems, levees and dikes, safe foods and drugs, are luxuries and not necessary. In fact Sewers and water systems are unique to places that have too many people stuffed into a small area. Sufficiently spaced out people are able to get their own water and manage their own sewer. Additionally, they can grow their own food eliminating the need for a government to assure the food I eat is what they want me to eat. Many of the things governments provide come from having a millions of people in a few square miles. People are not designed to live in such close quarters, they need their space.




    I can see what you are trying to say with this argument. I do not agree with it however. What you are postulating is a very simplified version of the events of the last 30 years of the American economy. To blame every bit of our economic ills on moving jobs to off shore locations is a very difficult supposition to make. Let me give you an example. The American steel industry was the world leader for over 80 years. It grew because of our large amounts of raw material and the ease it had in shipping its goods (most of the steel industry being based in areas that had access to the Great Lakes.) What happened to this industry was an increase in technology that made it cheaper for developing areas to make steel that was of equal (if not better) quality to American steel. This change in market forces forced a decline in the American steel industry. What does this show? It shows that basing your argument on a purely salary basis is tenuous at best.
    The other thing that you have missed is that it is much easier to transport raw materials. Used to be you cut the logs in your own area, produced the lumber there, and built with local lumber. Now large ships can transport the lumber form Europe and sell it locally cheaper that it can be produced locally. We have a local GE plant that makes large generators and turbines. About 30 miles from the plant is the Gilboa damn, which has Hitachi generators from Japan. It was cheaper to build them there and ship them here.

    The steel industry, just like our leather industry, was destroyed with high wages, environmental regulations, and safety regulations. Not saying any of those are bad. But when yo compete against others who don't care or have those things then you loose your jobs.

    As to your tax base argument I would assert that a government with a good handle on finances would create a tax base that is a classic "three legged stool." (The three legs being property taxes, income taxes, and either a sales tax or equivalent fees on services.) By basing finances on this approach you have the ability to protect the government from financial crisis like we are in now. Governments that are facing issues right now (such as Detroit, Toledo, and even states such as California and Oregon) have usually place limits on the taxes they can collect and have limits in place as to what their revenue sources can be.
    Here is the problem. When the income of the people supporting those three legs drops the entire stool falls. Income drops and income taxes fall. When income drops, people buy less, and sales taxes fall. And finally, when people can no longer afford their property, they abandon it and the property now becomes a cost to the city rather than a revenue. The government entity needs to change its spending habits as the American lifestyle changes to be more in sync whit the rest of the world.

    [quote]Once again in this quote I feel you have confused several levels of government. I assume by your "driven this country into a hole that it cannot dig itself out of" comment that you are referring to the national debt. This is a complex and confusing subject (one that I feel can not be adequately addressed in a forum post) but needless to say some of are the thought that nation debt in times of fiscal crisis is a good thing. [.quote]

    Let me address this. As the feds and states have tightened their belts they have cut aid to the localities. The localities are now left holding the bag. We are rapidly approaching the tipping point where the economy will tank hard and there will be no reversing it. When you get to a point where most of your income is spent on interest payments you have hit the point of no return.

    Also, as to your "raises and bonuses" comment I would retort that the public sector bonus system pales in comparison to the ones we have seen in the private sector. Also, our standard of living is very unlikely to "equalize" with other countries. What we have that many countries you are referring to do not have is infrastructure. An infrastructure built with blue collar hands and financed with tax dollars.
    As for raises and bonuses, I am not talking about the ones at the CEO and executive level, I'm talking about the millions of every day common workers. Every sticking school district around he having to raise taxes because the employees of the districts are guaranteed raises. Meanwhile, I cannot afford that tax increase. The money just isn't there. Kansas City recently announced the closing of 22 schools, Detroit is talking about closing over 40 schools. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Highway departments are stuck, they have built a large number of roads and those roads must be maintained or eliminated, same for the water system and sewer system. The miles of roads and pipes are not going to change unless they take complete neighborhoods out of existence. This means that those cuts will have to come in other departments. Expect large cuts in FD, PD, parks and recreation, and other agencies that are population based and not based on the amount of infrastructure. And the cuts will be deeper for those agencies because they will have to account for their own plus the amount the others cannot cut.

    The problem with an infrastructure based on tax dollars is that eventually you run out of other peoples money. This country was built on free enterprise and an entrepreneurial spirit that created a lot of innovation. People used to think on their own, now the government does it for them.

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