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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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June 27, 2008 7:30 AM

Anti-Rossi ads hit the air today

Posted by David Postman

A new union-funded PAC launched a $500,000 ad campaign today against Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi. The political action committee, Evergreen Progress, is airing three 15 second TV commercials that focus on Rossi's record as a state senator.

The ads begin with the line, "What do you know about Repubican Dino Rossi?" and refer people to the group's new website, don'tknowdino.com. There, viewers are greeted by the line:

Dino’s Washington isn’t a place most of us want to live.

The ads focus on health care related votes Rossi took as a senator: The budget he helped write that reduced children's health insurance, a vote against a prescription drug bill and votes against a so-called patient's bill of rights.

The health care focus is not surprising given the top donor to the PAC is the Service Employees International Union, which represents a variety of health care workers in the state. SEIU donated nearly $500,000 to Evergreen Progress.

Yesterday, the Rossi campaign learned from its media buyer that the Evergreen Progress ad campaign would begin today. The campaign issued a statement saying that it was a conflict for Gregoire to be helped in her campagin by large donations from SEIU and the state employees' union because both groups are in the midst of negotiating contracts with the Gregoire Administration. Spokeswoman Jill Strait said:

Gregoire should refuse to negotiate pay increases until after the election and she should instruct her party chair to return contributions from these groups. Anything else gives the appearance of a pay-off. At a time when our state faces over a $2.5 billion deficit and families and businesses are struggling with rising prices, we can’t afford to see our tax dollars wasted by Gregoire handing out political thank yous to her biggest contributors.

A side note: All three ads feature mostly shots of women and children. Rossi is the only man who appears in two of the ads, with a pharmacist with a hand full of cash being the only other male who makes a cameo. Radio ads backing Rossi from a conservative PAC also feature women. Hmm, I wonder if female voters are the prime target this campaign.

Also, earlier this week the Democratic Party changed the music in an anti- Rossi video because the use of the theme song from The Sopranos was seen by some as an ethnic slur against the Italian-American candidate. The music, and some of the narration, in the Evergreen Progress ads has a distinct TV flavor to it, too. However, I don't think there's any group that will complain about the Desperate Housewives -- something-creepy-going-on-in-the-neighorhood -- soundtrack.

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Posted by Glenno

8:59 AM, Jun 27, 2008

Postman,

$34K form insurance co. and $47K from Drug Company's employees since 1999....

I'm curious to know how much Christine has received them...

Posted by John

9:08 AM, Jun 27, 2008

to jamesB,jimd

I thought you could at least come up with a viable come back (both of you). No use, trying to engage in discussion with someone who has no idea what he's talking about that includes all of you.

If you would have least given me the curiosity to finish my argument then make fools out of yourselves fine I could except that. Far be it for me to get in the way of fools making more Asses of them selves.
opps wrong post.

Posted by Andy

9:08 AM, Jun 27, 2008

Go with what works. Paying off Gregoire has worked for every other special interest. That's how she's run the state for the past 3 1/2 years.

It's going to be a long season of Gregoire changing the subject from her record to ANYTHING else. "Hey look a butterfly! If elected, Dino Rossi would murder our state's butterflies for the BIAW."

Posted by jamesb

9:29 AM, Jun 27, 2008

John,

Get off the cross sir. No one kept you from posting or explaining anything. Both Jimd and I offered you advice as to how to find and demonstrate the evidence to support your claim. How can either of us come up with a counter-argument when you have failed to offer anything to support your claim? How can I answer these mysterious other posts of yours when you have not posted them?
I see Jimd answered your list of yes or no questions and yet you still have not followed up. What is the hang up now John?

PS, your “sorry wrong post” postings on other threads isn’t fooling anyone. Intelligence is measured by the number of times you make the same mistake and you have made that “mistake” numerous times now. You are either doing that intentionally or you just aren’t paying attention.

Posted by chris

9:36 AM, Jun 27, 2008

info@evergreenprogress.com is an invalid email address.

Posted by John

9:45 AM, Jun 27, 2008

jamesb

What on earth do you mean by :

"Get off the cross sir."

Put this in terms that a God fearing poor white guy can comprehend.

Posted by jamesb

9:59 AM, Jun 27, 2008

John,

It means stop pretending others are keeping you from making your case. Stop with the excuses and name calling. If you think the Times is biased, show us the evidence. You are the one who made the claim. What do you have to support it?

Posted by John

10:04 AM, Jun 27, 2008

To jamesB,
"I see Jimd answered your list of yes or no questions and yet you still have not followed up. What is the hang up now John?"

Whoever he is today, answered only six of seven questions.
Either he can't count or is stumped with a yes or no question. Perhaps I should have laid it out in multi choice.

I have given the proof you have requested on post through out this blog.

You can Goggle or search on the times all you want that's not the answer or proof.

Your blinded I cannot help you with this sorry.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!

Posted by jamesb

10:10 AM, Jun 27, 2008

John,
Please tell us where on this blog you have offered evidence of your claim. I’ll gladly go read it.

To the others on these treads: I apologize for having to bring a conversation that was started on another thread here but “john’s” habit of “oops wrong post” was getting tiresome.

Posted by John

10:13 AM, Jun 27, 2008

jamesb
9:59 AM, Jun 27, 2008
John,
“It means stop pretending others are keeping you from making your case. “

I’m not buying that answer I doubt any other God fearing person on this blog will either.

I will not respond to anything you post from here on.

There was no need to bring that up you should be ashamed of yourself, but that is asking too much.

Posted by Mike Ball

10:19 AM, Jun 27, 2008

fyi

Posted by jamesb

10:28 AM, Jun 27, 2008

John,

Again with the excuses. You can’t respond to me because you know you have never made your case.

Posted by bbscout

11:45 AM, Jun 27, 2008

The Obvious: It's called RACISM...pure & simple.

Don't be fooled; it's just Dumocrat hypocrisy, as we witnessed in full-force during the primary.

Posted by Wiz

11:47 AM, Jun 27, 2008

Hi all,
I wen to the don'tknowdino site and watched the ad on Rossi eliminating coverege for 40,000 kids in the state. The "evidence" below the video states that "The Senate plan would drop from Medicaid rolls about 40,000 children in households with incomes above 175 percent of the poverty level." (don'tknowdino.com)

I think it is great that the folks who put the content on the site included this evidence. The problem is that the ad gives the impression that there are 40,000 kids who have no medical insurance. After reading the evidence, I thought "why should someone who is 175% over the poverty level get free insurance at a cost to you and me?" In addition, I pay 200.00 a month out of my checks each month to pay for my portion of my families health care. I don't expect any of you to help me. I will handle it on my own. I would actually thank Rossi for making this budget move.

Just a thought

Posted by Methow Ken

12:28 PM, Jun 27, 2008

The level of over-the-top DIS-information and gross distortion the ''don'tknowdino'' website goes to is perhaps best demonstrated by this one:

''Republican State Senator Dino Rossi wrote a budget that eliminated medical coverage for 40,000 Washington children''

Gee, it appears they left out and/or totally warped-beyond-recognition a number of key facts; like:
Effectively the budget co-author was then-(D)-Gov Locke.

They also claim that ''Democrats ripped the budget for the cuts it will make to health care''.
Of course they conveniently neglect to mention that a bunch of (D) stood WITH Dino Rossi and Gov. Locke in favor of adopting that budget.

I'm reminded again of how the Gregoire campaign spokesperson claimed ''our campaign is different.''

Yeah; right; maybe only in going all-out to compete for the ''maximum disinformation and distortion in a campaign website'' prize.

Of course this shouldn't surprise anyone:
Among the listed ''top 5'' contributors to the ''Evergreen Progress'' PAC are some of Gregoire's most loyal customers and benefactors:
SEIU, WA Federation of State Employees, Sheet Metal Workers PAC, and International Union of Operating Engineers.

Posted by P

1:20 PM, Jun 27, 2008

Christine Gregoire is a joke, a very serious sick joke!

She, and her co-conspirators in the legislature, have taken a budget surplus and turned it into one of this state's worst budget deficits; all at the same time creating a budget crisis which will mean higher taxes. All this on the eve of yet another tax hike on a gallon of gasoline due to start July 1st!

Do you liberal morons realize that Big Oil only makes .08 per gallon; while the state and feds make over .58 per gallon? Whose at fault for higher gas prices? The DEMOCRATS! That's who!

And still, our highways are have one of the worst congestions of any other state our size. When are the people of this state going to stop buying into the nonsense and divide and conquer strategies of this corrupt political machine?

Posted by joe

3:16 PM, Jun 27, 2008

Of course you wouldn't want to live in Rossi's Washington. Because your a socialist comrad. Get a job and a haircut.

Posted by jamesb

3:45 PM, Jun 27, 2008

Joe,
How are the 60s?

Posted by Lewis

5:05 PM, Jun 27, 2008

to Glenno,

you can easily find out who has given to Gregoire's campaign at the Public Disclosure Commission website at www.pdc.wa.gov and do a search of candidate's committees.

Posted by JoeJohn

6:18 PM, Jun 27, 2008

"Joe" and "John" are one and the same. The telltale sign? Both have the peculiar disability of not knowing that "your" is a possessive pronoun, not the contraction "you're."

Posted by JimD

6:31 PM, Jun 27, 2008

Wiz,
According to Health and Human Services guidelines for 2008, the "poverty threshold" for a family of four in Washington State is $21,200 a year.
So, 175% of that (1.75 x 21,200) is around $36,000 a year.
Ot's possible for a family of four to survive on only $36,000 a year in Washington State, but it's unlike they can afford to spend upwards of a THIRD of that for just health insurance - never mind deductible, etc.
If it was just adults affected, I'd be more inclined to think they should tough it out like you do.
But we're talking about kids who have the misfortune of parents who've been put out of work, lost their house and savings in the mortgage meltdown...or maybe just made irresponsible choices.
The kids are innocent victims, and no family of four is living high on the hog at 36k a year.
I don't even know how they put food on the table and pay the rent, let alone pay close to a thousand a month in health insurance at 175% of the poverty threshold (36k) referred to in the ad.

Posted by John

9:37 PM, Jun 27, 2008

To whoever,

Try and get some sleep.

Posted by upchuck

11:21 PM, Jun 27, 2008

Yes it's true that some d's stood with rossi on his budget priorities (like as mentioned leaving kids who were poor but officially over the "poverty limit" without healthcare) ...so what's the point of bringing this up? Locke is no longer governemt (thank goodness) and so it is completely fair for Gregoire to distinguish herself from those former choices of Rossi's (and apparently some former dems - who by the way, are not running for gebernor right now)

Posted by upchuck

11:23 PM, Jun 27, 2008

governor, governor, governor...

just making sure i remember how to spell that word!!! = )

Posted by JimD

11:54 PM, Jun 27, 2008

I kind of like 'Gobernor'.
Gubernor is even better.
Ah..what the hell...GUBERNATOR!

(yes...Joe is John is William...the spelling, grammer, tone and message are so unmistakable it's almost amusing...but not quite)

Posted by Eugene Boyanton

5:28 AM, Jun 28, 2008

Madness,How Crissy got elected in the first place is shear madness....Washington is now California north.

Posted by John

8:34 AM, Jun 28, 2008

to whoever,
It is time for your Seattle Time’s Internet Provider Service tracker to get to work.

If you have any credibility left this might, no, nothing could help you, carry on with your mischief.

Posted by Jack

8:43 PM, Jun 28, 2008

haha Dino sucks!

Posted by Irish Jim

9:50 AM, Jun 29, 2008

Every time I see or hear one of the liberal groups negative ads against Rossi, I know that it is being paid for by my own tax dollars -- indirectly yes, but it is my tax dollars. Gregoire keeps making handouts to these groups and their members and they turn around and return the favor by paying for negative ads against her opponent. It is politics as usual from the entrenched Oly crowd.

Posted by upchuck

10:23 AM, Jun 29, 2008

oh whatever irish.... and i paid for gw's election by gassing my car. again with folks like cheney and ken lay, and to a lesser degree dino and his friends there's always plenty of cash to go around, but it's the working man who get accused of being the dirty greendy bastarrd

Posted by Turbine

1:30 PM, Jun 29, 2008

Why don't you ask the "working man" aka the unionized state employee about how he/she feels about their pension plans being shorted by 70% since 2003? Who would be to blame for that? The party in power or the party out of power?

Posted by upchuck

4:48 PM, Jun 29, 2008

are you suggesting that dino would give more to the state employees unions in the form of bennies, pension, and pay raises than gregoire???

whatever ills have befallen the pension plans for the unionized state employees, it's still pretty obvious who would serve their interests best as governor between dino and gregoire. and i think it's pretty clear that gregoire will win handily this year now that the dems are putting out a much stronger message highlighting their differences. this, afterall is a state where popular political opinion agrees with the truth that an overly deregulated lazie faire approach to the economy doesn't allow wealth to "trickle down" to the either the unionized state employee or the unrepresented independent worker. it's all about the millions for the ceo's.

Posted by KS

6:37 PM, Jun 29, 2008

Too bad that there isn't a snopes.com that addresses the credibility of the ads for both sides. The fight the smears website from the Obama campaign has shown to be bogus.

Seems like Gregoire is getting desperate, judging by her ads. Right off the bat - her belief that sexual predators are more protected. Dino Rossi will have to effective rebut these attempted smear ads to frame this issue.

As in the presidential race, a government invariably functions better with a balance of power vs. one-party control There is corruption abound from many things that Gregoire has had her hands on. It's up to the Rossi campaign to make this case. If he does, the incumbent Governor will feel pressured. Character should matter here and in that area, she has the short end of the stick, but again its up the opposition to demonstrate this to the undecided voters.

Posted by KS

6:39 PM, Jun 29, 2008

Oops - Should read:
Right off the bat - her belief that society is better protected from sexual predators is false - it wasn't near the issue it is now before she was Governor. Dino Rossi will have to effectively rebut these attempted smear ads to frame this and other issues.

Posted by Turbine

8:10 PM, Jun 29, 2008

Just tell the taxpayers why Stae employee pensions are not funded FIRST, before any new programs are funded and even more State employees brought into the system? I am suggesting that Governor Gregoire is playing games with the pension fund. I am suggesting that she lacks the abilitiy to enforce financial discipline at the State level. I am suggesting that we need a new Governor.

Posted by JimD

10:25 PM, Jun 29, 2008

We may need a new governor - and perhaps one who's more fiscally conservative.
But replacing Gregoire with Rossi is like trading in your reliable gas-guzzling SUV for a gas guzzling pick-up truck.
With all the mud-slingsing from both sides, I've heard nothing from Rossi on exactly what he's proposing to do.
Would anyone like to enlighten me?
Skip the character and generalities.
What does Rossi offer in SPECIFIC PROPOSALS to solve our various messes?
Do any Rossi supporters even know?

Posted by JimD

10:46 AM, Jun 30, 2008

Still waiting for an answer from Rossi supporters.

Just one or two SPECIFIC policy proposals from Rossi, and why you think they'd help the state.

Anyone....?

Posted by Bothsides

11:26 AM, Jun 30, 2008

JimD,

http://www.dinorossi.com/

I know you love to read.

Posted by Wiz

3:47 PM, Jun 30, 2008

Hi JimD,

I cannot provide specific proposals, but there is a definite difference in the two mindsets. Take this quote from Rossi's website:

Governor Gregoire has increased spending by 33 percent and raised your taxes by half a billion dollars - that's $4000 in new spending per family. Does your family see $4000 of additional value from state government?

I don't see the value add here. I do see my property taxes going up. I also see the ability to use my land going down. I also see school, fire and police levies in many elections. Can someone tell me why it takes a levy to raise enough taxes for police or fire? Couldn't some of my 4000.00 go to fire or police?

Posted by John

4:00 PM, Jun 30, 2008

She gave money to her pet projects like the wea,state workers of the republic,Indians,dNC, and increased state payrolls to historic levels all in the name of her re-election
Tell me money won't buy votes.

Posted by Wiz

4:07 PM, Jun 30, 2008

Upchuck: You wrote "this, afterall is a state where popular political opinion agrees with the truth that an overly deregulated lazie faire approach to the economy doesn't allow wealth to "trickle down" to the either the unionized state employee or the unrepresented independent worker. it's all about the millions for the ceo's."

I can honestly say that this is the most idiotic statement I have read/heard in weeks. I am going to take a stab and guess that you have never run a small business and shelled out a large portion of your revenues to the state. I am also going to guess that you feel entitled to have this "wealth" trickled down (or tranferred) to you.

You are right on one thing though, this state will probably vote Queen G back in. The sheer number of existing mouths she is feeding...state employees, people already receiving assistance....will cast their vote for anyone with a D after their name.

Posted by Bothsides

6:02 PM, Jun 30, 2008

Wiz, where have you been, you hit the nail on the head.....

Posted by JimD

7:26 PM, Jun 30, 2008

Bothsides...I know how to find Rossi's website - been there before in fact.

And it's as void of any specific policy proposals or ANYTHING constructive what so ever, as his supporters who post here.

Where's the meat?

And I love this...LOL....on Rossi's opening page, count the number of times Rossi and Gregoire are mentioned.
Gregoire - 5
Rossi - 4
??????
He talks about Gregoire more than he talks about himself.
Hell hath no fury like a Rossi scorned, I guess.

Please -- try telling me again that his campaign is anything more than an anti-Gregoire mud fest where Rossi proposes NOTHING - and I mean NOTHING of policy substance as an alternative.

I agree that Gregoire is less than perfect (to say the least), but for goodness sake, exactly what is Rossi offering in POLICY SPECIFICS.
You don't know.
His site doesn't say.
There simply aren't enough emotionally motivated folks to whom that doesn't matter, to elect him.

Posted by upchuck

8:28 PM, Jun 30, 2008

"wiz" you can attack what you assume to be my personal experience, but you really have no idea...

i stand by my comment as a common sense statement that even hard right free market conservatives like nixon agreed with. afterall he created the EPA, and oversaw price fixing in oil and food while president.

as for your hypothetical struggling business: do you feel entitled to a public road system, protection and service from the police and fire depts, or workers educated by public shcools, without any tax responsibility to support that system? or entitled to pay crappy wages even if you make mega profits? as for me, if my labor is of value, i certainly do feel entitled to receive an honest day's pay for an honest day's work.

Posted by John

9:31 PM, Jun 30, 2008

Whoever he is today said:
"And I love this...LOL....on Rossi's opening page, count the number of times Rossi and Gregoire are mentioned.
Gregoire - 5
Rossi - 4
??????
He talks about Gregoire more than he talks about himself.
Hell hath no fury like a Rossi scorned, I guess."
---------------------------------------------------------------------

LOL These remarks, will come back to haunt you.


Posted by JimD

11:14 PM, Jun 30, 2008

Wiz wrote to upchuck:
".... I am going to take a stab and guess that you have never run a small business and shelled out a large portion of your revenues to the state. I am also going to guess that you feel entitled to have this "wealth" trickled down (or transferred) to you.
..."
Why do you frame this as an either/or choice?
If you're not in unqualified support of letting business have free, unregulated reign to collectively push the working class down into the ranks of the working poor, then you're some kind of socialist?
Really?

I ran a small business for many years, and although I didn't like the myriad of taxes, fees and licenses - not to mention regulation by several different government entities - I was able to turn a nice profit, take care of my employees AND produce an excellent product in high demand.
And frankly - the service I got in return from every level of government was outstanding.
But I sure saw a lot of my fellow business owners struggling with their own poor management decisions and ...and every single one of them blamed their lack of success on "taxes" - as if they were entitled to success if not for the services they expected from government but didn't want to pay for.

There's a middle ground here, Wiz.
And that's where successful entrepreneurs and business people position themselves.

You, in fact, are the one promoting a welfare state - for business.
You're suggesting, in effect, that workers pay more than their share to support the business owners who's fiduciary responsibility it is to spend as little as necessary on those workers.
And that's precisely this administration's, McCain's and most other republican's economic MO.

And that's why household incomes have declined about $1000 per year on average, compared to a $7000 increase under the Clinton administration.

A commitment to total trickle-down isn't working now, and has never worked before.
it is, in fact, just a goofy theory (which GHW Bush called voodoo economics, if you recall) used by the investment class to further their own personal best interests.
it's a shame they've got so many gullible followers among the ranks of those they only see as a means to their own personal wealth - nothing more.
You're being had.

Posted by Mary Hammond

11:18 PM, Jun 30, 2008

I am a Democrat but am offended by the negative anti-Rossi ads. Tell us what Gregoire did for us, not what Rossi did or didn't do. Let's have a positive campaign.

Posted by Wiz

10:28 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Hi Upchuck,

I wasn’t trying to attack your personal experience. If it sounded that way I apologize. I was just trying to make the point that, if you happen to be a state employee, you would never vote for a Republican because it would basically be chopping off the hand that is feeding you. The thought of a Rossi lead state probably scares the crap out of state employees. He would likely come in and attempt to hold employees accountable, reduce the bureaucracy, and create efficiencies in the system. Those of us who work for private companies are accustomed to these management techniques.

On the roads, schools, police and fire….shouldn’t we fund those in different ways?

Roads: Gas Tax

Schools, Police and Fire/EMT: Property Taxes

Finally, if an employee doesn’t like the wage you are receiving you can always change your line of work. Don’t blame the business owner for undercutting an employee’s compensation. This may be some wacky “free market” thinking, but if people are willing to work for the wages offered, they are probably fair. When people refuse to do the work for the wages offered, it is time to increase the compensation.

Posted by JimD

11:35 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Wiz wrote:
"... but if people are willing to work for the wages offered, they are probably fair. When people refuse to do the work for the wages offered, it is time to increase the compensation..."

Yes, but...
You're not considering the COMBINED effort by business - all businesses - to COLLECTIVELY lower wage and benefit expectations.
No one wants to pay more than the next guy if they don't have to.
And one way to keep lowering that bar to the benefit of all employers is the collective understanding that not paying more than they absolutely need to lowers everyone's costs as the bar is slowly inched down across the board.
This is particularly true in periods of higher unemployment - like we're entering now - an employer's market.

Government, a not-for-profit enterprise on the other hand, has no such profit accountability forcing wages down.
You're right - government employees generally make more without the competitive, private market pressure to cut labor costs.
But Rossi can't go into office and simply cut wages.
He can't cancel union contracts and employment agreements with some sort of autocratic decree.
The only thing he can do is take a chain saw to the number of employees who work for the state.
Period.
So...which ones do you want to see go?
Which services should we compromise?
Any suggestions?

Posted by Wiz

9:06 AM, Jul 02, 2008

Hi JimD,

You wrote “And one way to keep lowering that bar to the benefit of all employers is the collective understanding that not paying more than they absolutely need to lowers everyone's costs as the bar is slowly inched down across the board.”

My experience in the corporate world has been somewhat different. Here is why: Any executive, hiring manager or HR professional will tell you that one the most valuable assets an organization has is its human capital. (people) Companies go to great lengths to attract and retain top talent. Insinuating that executives engage in collusion to keep wages low makes no sense from a business perspective. As a business owner, I want the best. If the best currently works for my competitor, I am going to do what I can to lure them over to my team. Do you think Balmer and Jobs hop on a conference call and conspire to reduce the pay scale for highly skilled software developers? Probably not. Instead they are in a constant battle to attract this top talent.

Dick’s drive in is another good case study. Dick’s has consistently paid its workers a higher wage in an effort to attract and retain top talent.

Your second question in regards to what services I would cut is hard to answer, as I do not have enough free time to do the necessary analysis. I would argue that it is very possible to reduce the cost of these services by merely increasing the productivity of the various operations. Reducing costs does not always equal less service. Think about it this way: With advances in technology, each person is able to do more. If each person is able to do more, why do we need additional state employees to provide the same level of service? Queen G has increased the number of state employees at a cost to us. Are we seeing any more services? I can’t think of any.

Posted by upchuck

10:08 AM, Jul 02, 2008

wiz, please don't mistake my strong advocacy for my point of view as being personally offended by anything someone might say about me here in the comments on postman's esteemed blog...

honestly i think there is a middle ground between what we are both arguing. mostly i see conservatives use a political narrative of freedom, reponsibility, and less taxes for people and small business, but really what they accomplish is letting large corporation run amok devestating the economy for those of us on main street for the benefit fo those on wall street. i have worked for small businesses and helped out with my family's small business so i understand the challenges. but then i see boeing and microsoft and big oil getting all of these huge perks and tax breaks that we don't get. and the fact is, small business in wa state employs far more people than the few large corps do.

when corps are as large as they are today their success neccessarily depends upon the use of resources that the public certainly has the right to regulate access to for the benefit of all - not just the co attempting to do biz. for example cutting trees on public land. we all depend on wood products for our homes and such, and jobs benefit the economy. but the public's long term interest in sustaining a forest that can support more than merely short term profits certainly should come into play and likely is felt less strongly on the part of big timber cos. ...this is the rationale for my original statement about excessive deregulation and lazie fairre policies.

Posted by upchuck

10:21 AM, Jul 02, 2008

my apologies for the many grammar and spelling errors in the recent post!

Posted by JimD

10:29 AM, Jul 02, 2008

Funny you should mention Dick's.
I new Ina and her husband, and they were unique in their integrity and innovation among their fellow small business owners - not to mention just great folks.

Dick's Drive Inns not with standing - you're describing the bidding war for talent conducted at the higher end of the employment range.
I'm referring to where the majority of Americans reside - the mid to lower levels where they're simply expected perform the work to specification.

There's no secret conspiracy or spoken agreement to keeping wages low.
Everyone intuitively understands that workers in the mid to lower end are captive to the sum of the parts offered them.

For example - I'm personally involved with an effort by USDOT to import Mexican resident commercial truck drivers who would displace domestic drivers.
The purpose, obviously, is to reduce cost.
They will work for less than half what domestic drivers make, and still send home enough money to help pull their families out of poverty.

But you must understand - this doesn't just help the bottom line of those carriers who'd employ these foreign workers.
It also dilutes the relative value of the domestic drivers who now cost much more in comparison. As they'd move to the remaining jobs available for the current wage, employers could easily reduce total wage package value and STILL have applicants lined up for the jobs.

And that's how it goes on the mid to lower end of society, Wiz.
Wal-Mart employs thousands of workers who took huge wage and benefits cuts to go to work for them, because they had no other choice when Wal-mart put their previous employers out of business.

The list is endless and clearly documents how employers manipulate the job market in a never-ending struggle to reduce labor cost.
And that effort is most successful when unemployment goes up - like it is now - an employer's market leaves less employee choice than to take what's offered to them.

Not saying this is totally wrong - it is in fact as American as apple pie.
But don't assume everyone out here is a top contender for a job requiring "talent".
More often than not, they simply need to show up on time, perform work to specification....and increasingly, be willing to forgo health insurance and other traditional benefits employers have slowly been chipping away to reduce cost.

Posted by Wiz

3:55 PM, Jul 02, 2008

JimD and upchuck, I think we are driving to the same goal. We would like our low/middle class neighbors to prosper. We differ in the mechanism to get us there. We often hear this country referred to as the Land of Opportunity. Why is that? Is it because people have the opportunity to ride the coat tails of folks who have siezed their own opportunity? No, it is because every person has the opportunity to reach great heights. All it takes is effort.

People can spend time complaining about how the "rules" are not fair and ask Government to change them, but I do not believe that is the responsibility of Government. I feel that Government exists to provide law, infrastructure and a safety net for those who are disabled or truly going through a temporary time of need. Emphasis on temporary.

Today, people have learned to rely on the Government more than they should. Single mothers have additional kids to increase the size of their state checks are one example. Young people know that the safety net has grown over time. They know that they do not need to make sound decisions geared toward improving their future. They know that they can rely on our old friends in Olympia to take care of them at the expense of you and me.

Posted by JimD

3:33 PM, Jul 03, 2008

Wiz...
Well frankly, I knew you would go there next.
"If you don't like the coal mines, work your way up to mine owner."

And your reference to "our" middle and lower class neighbors reveals your assumption that you're talking to others similarly endowed as you on the economic ladder.

They're not just my neighbors - they are ME ;-)

The fact that a few (very few) single mothers have babies to increase their state entitlements is not justification for the ever increasing separation of the haves from the have nots.
In fact, it's offensively class-ist, in my opinion.
We're talking about responsible men and women - families, struggling with two or more jobs, no healthcare insurance....not a handful of welfare queens.

The truth is, as our middle-class slowly erodes into upper and lower separation, we' get closer to losing the very essence of our democracy as it becomes increasing difficult to actually achieve the American dream without being born into it.
The United States Of America is more than just an economy to serve the privileged.

I know I won't change your mind on this one.
But be aware that you're fueling a revolutionary cure that will be worse than working to keep our middle class strong.
And that middle class must include the folks who reach their personal potential at the wheel of a truck, behind a machine, or flinging papers in a cubicle.
There's only so much room at the top, and the rest of "them" (us) should be able to live a reasonably good life in the middle - the REAL American dream, a modest middle-class life.

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