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UNIONS: Public workers didn’t get the message

Letter by Doug E. Carlson, Tacoma on March 3, 2011 at 10:07 am with 71 Comments »
March 3, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: “Look at both sides of the story” (letter, 3-3).

The author asks those who support the Wisconsin governor to stop hating unions because of the good the unions have done over their history for the average worker.

There is no argument on the good they have done. This is not about private-sector unions, which are the ones that brought about the changes in the workplace. This is about public-sector unions.

The author (a local Machinists union president) does not engage in the same practices as the public union bosses. He does not go out with his union members’ money and spend it in a way to influence the outcome of their bargaining. The public unions do. They spend millions to get individuals elected who will vote for their contract proposals.

The private-sector union bosses, like the author, would have been better served to have worked with the public-sector unions to not use members’ dues to stack the deck. Like it or not, it is the public-sector union bosses who brought this on themselves. They assumed the public’s ability/willingness to spend money was bottomless.

The federal government employee unions learned this lesson a long time ago. Guess the state employee unions did not get it, and now they are learning the same lesson.

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Leave a comment Comments → 71
  1. Another expert who knows everything about nothing.

  2. wadsbrau says:

    @xring says:
    March 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    Another expert who knows everything about nothing.

    Or.. Nothing about everything

  3. nonstopjoe says:

    In the private sector, how would unions slipping a bribe to company officials sit with stockholders?

  4. Public sector employees who are union members are not over compensated. It is the myth that they are that is driving the action and rhetoric against them.

  5. nonstopjoe says:

    When public unions contribute to the campaigns of politicians running for office, the purpose is to influence decisions those people will make in matters concerning those unions. It’s nothing more than I’ll pat your back if you’ll pat mine. Now, the worm seems to be turning in some states, and the screams of anguish have begun.

  6. Fibonacci says:

    So Doug, you don’t think that private sector unions support (through dues) candidates that they believe will be better for their members? Of course they do.

    It seems like all you public employee union-haters want to see public employees with no rights at all. They should just shut up and take what is offered (preferably offered by the Republikans).

  7. Fibonacci, no, they shouldn’t have to “take what is offered to them”. They should always have the option to quit their jobs and seek employment elsewhere. Collective bargaining by public sector unions is not at all “collective bargaining”. When they “bargain’ with their fellow civil servants (managers), the taxpayers are left out of the equation. A referendum should be floated to the taxpayers who then could decide by their vote whehter the union will get what it wants. So what’s wrong with letting the public have a say in the negotiations? We are their pay-masters.

  8. Private corporations take our money and give to Republicans who vote to eliminate the middle class in all of their programs and priorities. Corporations are paying big bucks to make sure workers will have the reduced pay and benefits. The huge amounts of donations that corporations pay elected officials is off the chart compared to unions, and this payoff has worked in this country. Middle class earners make no more than they did in the 1980’s while the CEO’s and corporate executives have seen their earnings multiply over six times since then. It is not the unions that have undue influence. Corporations charge us more for goods and services so they can shower elected officials who then vote for tax-payer subsidies for the most profitable businesses the planet has ever seen.

    frosty, sounds like you would better enjoy a dictatorship where people do not have the ability to elect officials to represent them. In the USA, if we don’t like the way our elected officials run the government, we vote for someone else. Wisconsin voted for someone who said he would negotiate with the unions, and the public is not happy he lied to them, and a big majority now wishes they hadn’t voted the way they did. A large majority ( 57%-67%, depending on the poll) of Americans think public employees should have bargaining rights, so find yourself a dictaorship country that thinks like you do, because this is a democracy in this country last time I looked.

  9. The view that public union collective bargaining is a stacked deck in their favor is total unproved nonsense. It is a fabricated idea coming from those who do not approve of unions no matter what kind they are or who they represent. It is a lie as big as WMDs and perpetrated by the same folks.
    There must be a connection.

  10. JudasEscargot says:

    “He does not go out with his union members’ money and spend it in a way to influence the outcome of their bargaining. The public unions do.”

    Complete falsehood. Money donated to campaigns is designated by the employee for political campaigns.

    If donations influence the outcome of bargaining, why have state employees taken pay, unpaid leave and benefit concessions?

    Is this under the category of “tell a lie enough times and people will believe it”?

  11. Well gosh, Publico said it so it must be true, dagnabit…

  12. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Tuddo- your statement that corporations give more money to Republicans (and in return get benefits) is false. It has been proven that large corporations give more money to Dems, and unions give more money to Dems by a wide margin.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A

  13. Now you are just messing with xring and the P brothers.

  14. bobcat1a says:

    Well, the richest among us have succeeded in getting the “little people” to forget them and take on their fellow commoners. The elite now get the legislators to cut estate taxes for millionaires’ spoiled kids and have teachers, firefighters, and cops pay for it. Well played, RNC!

  15. Yes, the old estate tax. So you pay taxes on the money you make your entire life, and when you die, the government wants to take half of what is left. Yep, that is fair.

    I bet if you tree hugging liberals were about to get a huge inheritance, and then realized you would get less than half of what you banked on, you might be a little angry. No, wait, you would welcome the opportunity to contribute all that money to society.

    Never mind, I was wrong.

  16. xring – this was a good year for the GOP. Them Dems just needed a break after that last 15 years or so… you remember this from opensecrets.org:

    1996 – Libs outspent conservatives 10m to 6m
    1998 – Libs outspent conservatives 7.5m to 5.2m
    2000 – Libs outspent conservatives 30m to 17m
    2002 – Libs outspent conservatives 18m to 4.6m
    2004 – Libs outspent conservatives 121m to 68m
    2006 – Libs outspent conservatives 38m to 19m
    2008 – Libs outspent conservatives 158m to 120m

  17. Concerned – nice try but your web site does not support, let alone prove, your contention that large corporations give more money to the Dems than to the Repbs.

  18. Fibonacci says:

    frosty
    Typical answer. They don’t have to take what is offered, they can quit and look for other work. Brilliant. Why don’t we just pay all public employees minimum wage.Firefighters, policemen, state patrol, teachers, prison guards, highway engineers and so on. Hey, someone out there without a job will be willing to do it cheap.Just what we need, public employees all looking for work in the prvatge sector. That is your best shot, they can just quit rather than work for better wages and conditions?

  19. rr: More Ouija board numbers.

  20. concernedtacoma7, you say” it has been proven”, so provide the proof. The link certainly does not prove your point. There was a huge peak of union giving in 2008, reaching 31% of total outside political party donations and spending, and that was a low point for Republicans in raising money. Corporations were as afraid of Palin/ McCain as the rest of us. That was also the first time in a long time that corporate giving approached 50% for each party. Usually it is about 60%-40%. Much of the Dems receipts from businesses was given after the election, when outside spending for Republicans hit a low point because they lost so many races. Business do love to give money to the winners, even if after the fact.

  21. I have an idea,why not hire and train the illegals to replace all the firefighters and police? As I understand it, they will work for a lot less that what is being paid now.If all public employees become unionized,can you imagine the strangled hold the Union would have on the American Taxpayer?When it came down to bargaining time,All the Union would have to do is say,We get the raise or we will shut all Departments we represent down.Think about that possibility!

  22. If teachers are making so much money because of the unions, why are the best and brightest not going into the field to make all that easy money?

  23. “rr: More Ouija board numbers.”

    dude – they are from the same site that you are posting from – opensecrets.org.

    We are touting how the evil GOP has contributed more in this campaign. But hsitory shows that the Dems have spent more money on campaigns… the GOP has just caught up to the Dem money machine.

  24. (1) ActBlue – “…serves as a conduit for online contributions to Democratic candidates and committees. …”

    (6) American Assn for Justice – “The association favors Democrats, who oppose most attempts to initiate tort reform.”

    3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21…. are unions

    For the corporations, the splits are in the 60/40 range between the parties… so much for the evil corporations contributing soley to the GOP…

    come on guys, it does require a little work but the info is out there…

  25. vickistired says:

    Roll_On says:
    March 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I bet if you tree hugging liberals were about to get a huge inheritance, and then realized you would get less than half of what you banked on, you might be a little angry. No, wait, you would welcome the opportunity to contribute all that money to society.
    __________________________________________________________
    As a liberal, I tend to think anybody banking on an inheritence is greedy and foolish. I make my own way; make my own money and don’t presume that I should profit off of my parents’ eventual death. In fact, I was kinda figuring that at some point, I’d get the opportunity to take care of them and return the favor that they granted me by raising me to be a liberal – you know, of the tree-hugging and actually caring about society variety. So yeah, take half – heck, take it all. Why do I need to be rich? I don’t. I need enough money to pay my bills and survive. I do not need a fancy car, huge house, fancy clothes etc. I do not need vacations in Europe. I do need my neighborhood to be safe enough for me to walk home at night (since as a responsible tree hugging liberal, we have one car for the family and we drive it only when we must). I do need to know that if my house were to catch fire, that there would be a response. I do need to know that if I ever decided to bring children into this increasingly awful world, that they would have a decent public education. So yes, please do take my money and use it to ensure that police, firefighters, emergency medical workers and teachers are paid a competitive salary that draws the best and the brightest to provide these critical services to my community.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/03/03/not-about-union-hating/#ixzz1Fdyh1a3N

  26. But, Doug, in Wisconsin and many other states, the union is forced to negotiate with a governor and a legislature that, by your standards, are just like the private sector, willing to play hardball.

    Isn’t this what you want?

    Would you feel the same way if the union used their influence to support the GOP?

  27. beerBoy says:
    March 4, 2011 at 6:13 am
    If teachers are making so much money because of the unions, why are the best and brightest not going into the field to make all that easy money?

    ….
    What evidence do you have to conclude they are the “best and brightest”?

  28. IMO the problem with the Open Secrets is that they only track money given to the directly Parties and candidates but does not track moneys spent by ‘independent’ organizations such as Swift Boat Asoc, Crossroads GPS, Chamber of Commerce etc etc etc.

    Fibonacci, notice how right wing augments usually end up with name calling or suggestions that people leave?

    Rr98, (. . .are unions): And we all know there is no connection that 12 of the top Democratic contributors are unions and the fact that the Republicans are so into unions busting.

    Polago, Wisconsin state law requires the Governor to negotiate in good faith with the state workers unions” which will happen when flying pigs sing opera.

  29. xring – maybe this solves your problem….

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?cycle=2010&strID=C00011114

    I admit I am picking on AFSCME – you will see a summary, receiptients, donors, expenditures, etc…

    Crossroads is there also, you could pick on them…

    Like I said, the info is out there, just a little effort…

  30. “And we all know there is no connection that 12 of the top Democratic contributors are unions and the fact that the Republicans are so into unions busting.”

    Yes, you are correct…

  31. xring, You are correct. OpenSecrets has a lot of info about outside groups like the US CofC and where they give their money. They were the largest single outside group donor in 2010 and one of the largest for many years with over 90% to Republican candidates. The problem is they, and most supporters to Republicans, are not required to divulge where the money comes from, like unions have to show. So, in the tables of donors to candidates or lobbyists where there must be accountability of donors, the unions show up big. That is the only one rr wants to look at. When you look at the big picture and donors such as the US CofC and assume that it gets its money primarily from its corporate members, the percentages look a lot different. Of course we don’t know where they get their money. They just verbally assure us that it doesn’t come from foreign nationals or governments, but who knows. They sure support destroying the middle class in America and building up the Chinese economy, so one has to wonder whose side they are really on.

  32. rr, you keep linking to the donors who have to provide info on where they get their funds, and that includes unions, heavily. The Republicans are good at using the campaign laws to set up account types that do not have to disclose their donors. Please go to the lists that show that seven of the top ten biggest donors, which provide about 80% of the funds like the US CofC, donate to Republicans and conservatives by a large margin. Like you said, the info is out there, you just have to look. And, since we are talking about the current Congress, the 2008 and 2010 info is the most relevant, since that is who is running things now.

  33. whatido – I see you are opting for willful obtuseness as an attempt to snare me.

    Fine.

    I have taught Teaching Methodology to Education majors and various universities. This qualifies me to ascertain the level of the students pursuing a teaching career.

  34. make that “at various universities”

  35. This is nothing more than a power grab by the GOP.

  36. Roncella says:

    Where is the outrage from all you liberals/progressives/dems. about the high cost of a gal of gas ????? You tree huggers and al gore followers and President Obama will not allow drilling off our own coasts or in Alaska to help us all be able to afford gas at a reasonable price.

    You liberals are always saying how you care about the poor folks and the middleclass, well here is your chance to prove that.

    Put pressure on Obama and the Congress to allow drilling everywhere we can, NOW.

    You libs think about this, I passed two folks holding signs this morning, both were begging for money for GAS, what has happened to a once great Country.

    Its starting to feel an awful lot like the Carter years once again !!!

  37. “The problem is they, and most supporters to Republicans, are not required to divulge where the money comes from, like unions have to show.”

    tuddo – I am seeing 12 pages of donors to American Crossroads….

    “And, since we are talking about the current Congress, the 2008 and 2010 info is the most relevant, since that is who is running things now.”

    Ahhh, nope, the Congress is split and the Executive branch is most definitively run by a Democrat as President.

    My issue is that if we are going to whine about the money involved in the election process then let’s whine accurately. Go ahead keep railing against the evil GOP… they are doucebags, we know that. All I am doing is turning the flashlight to the left of center and I see a similar group of doucebags over there too… do you?

    By the way I see a list of donors to the US Chamber of Commerce.

  38. vickistired says:

    Roncella says:
    March 4, 2011 at 9:46 am
    Where is the outrage from all you liberals/progressives/dems. about the high cost of a gal of gas ????? You tree huggers and al gore followers and President Obama will not allow drilling off our own coasts or in Alaska to help us all be able to afford gas at a reasonable price.

    __________________________________________________________
    No outrage here, cause I take the bus. :) As do most poor people in my neighborhood. You won’t find too terribly many folks like us who will have much sympathy for your gas bills for your SUV or whatever monstrosity you probably drive.

  39. viskistired – when I fill up my tank, I pay the entire bill. All of it. When our bus fills up its tank, the taxpayers collectively pay most of the bill… whether they ride or not.

    So, when gas prices go up, I get to bitch about it

    When bus prices go up, WE get to bitch about it

    By the way, “poor people” are not the only ones who ride the bus, I drive a Hummer H2 to the Tacoma Dome parking garage to catch the 590 to/fro Seattle…

  40. Fibonacci says:

    whatldo
    You missed thde point. The statement was not that the best and brightest ARE going into teaching, it said why WOULD the besgt and brightest go into teachning?

    I have a friend that is the Math Dept Head at a local high school. There was a math position open and there were no applicants that actually had a degree in math? Why? They can make more money working in the private sector. Then people complain that we don’t do as well in math as in Europe. Maybe if the pay were better there would be more actual math people teaching math.

  41. Fibonacci says:

    Roncella
    Your idea that offshore drilling will lower the cost of gas is untrue. The high cost now is because of unrest in the middle east, not because we don’t drill offshore. We don’t even GET our gas from Lybia, but unrest in one place raises prices from all gas sources.

  42. vickistired says:

    @ rr98411 says:
    March 4, 2011 at 10:20 am
    viskistired – when I fill up my tank, I pay the entire bill. All of it. When our bus fills up its tank, the taxpayers collectively pay most of the bill… whether they ride or not.

    So, when gas prices go up, I get to bitch about it
    When bus prices go up, WE get to bitch about it

    By the way, “poor people” are not the only ones who ride the bus, I drive a Hummer H2 to the Tacoma Dome parking garage to catch the 590 to/fro Seattle…
    _____________________________________________________
    I think you kinda made my point for me. First, I am ROFLMAO that you actually do drive a hummer – I was going to say a hummer (rather than SUV) in my last message but decided that was unfair. Little did I know. Gosh, I feel so bad for you – how TOUGH your life must be. Filling up that big ole tank.

    And I never suggested (and you know I didn’t so don’t put words in my mouth) that only poor people take the bus. I don’t consider myself poor and I take the bus. I was responding to an earlier comment that asked why liberals weren’t outraged about gas prices and how we need to prove we care about poor people; hence the reference. In my experience, many people take the bus – rich, middle class and poor – but most poor people aren’t driving hummers.

    Last but not least, I never suggested YOU can’t bitch about the price of gas. By all means – bitch about it. I bet it truly sucks for you. Maybe try riding a bicycle to your bus stop; I’m lucky enough that I can walk to mine so I recognize I’ve an advantage there. But I digress. What I was responding to was a post that suggested that I should be bitching about the price of gas. Listen, you bitch all you want. I don’t care what you want to complain about. You rich republicans will get your way, anyway, you always do so get down with your bad self on that one; get some cheese with your whine – woe is me, the poor little rich guy with a hummer whose tank is expensive to fill.

    But I don’t HAVE to bitch about the price of gas. I have the right to choose to complain about things that I actually think are more important. As a tree-hugging liberal, feminist, supporter of gay rights who is concerned about our continued engagement in Afghanistan, concerned about the drug war in Mexico, concerned about our health care system, concerned that in balancing the budget we will cut the very programs that so many people rely on just to eke out a basic existence etc etc – gas prices just are not the top of my complaint list these days. Ok with you?

  43. Roncella says:

    finonacci, Your wrong. If we had started drilling along our coasts years ago, by now we would have plenty of our own oil and gas to draw from no matter whats going on overseas.

    Where is yours and other liberals concern for the working people and poor folks who are not just paying more and more for a gal of gas but will pay more and more for their groceries and utilities in fact for almost anything they buy,

    Where is your care and consideration for those who are already hurting, with their pays being cut and hours being cut, shame on you Liberals and Progressives and Democrats, Shame, Shame, Shame.

  44. Roncella, I don’t know what your topic has to do with this letter, but here is an inconvenient fact for you. In 2008, the U.S. Energy Information Administration report, “Impact of Limitations on Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Federal Outer Continental Shelf” analyzed the difference between full offshore drilling and the restriction to offshore drilling proposed by the Obama Administration, which were basically the same as Bush’s. In 2020, there would be no impact on gasoline prices. In 2030, US gasoline prices would be three cents a gallon lower. The impact on the environment was estimated, and the figures are included in the report. In California, the impact was overwhelming and would negate any positive impact of drilling because of the cost to taxpayers in the state and to the Feds. In Florida, the impact was severe to the state because of tourist industries. In most of the Gulf states it was fairly neutral. This was before the blowout in the Gulf, so those estimates might be in error.

  45. True… distractions… my bad also… back to the subject at hand…

    A dozen Town Hall clerical and custodial employees won the right to get coffee and milk paid for by taxpayers, and the town must reinstate dress-down Fridays, officials said this week

    http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2011/03/02/news/milford/aa1_orfreecoffee030111.txt

    I guess they didn’t get the message either…

  46. Rr (donors to Chamber of Commerce)
    How many are foreign companies and how much did they donate.

    Rr drives a hum – no, no, no, not going there!

    Fib & Ronc, another reason why gas is so high is the in 2001 the limit on profit-per –barrel was removed and oil was added to futures commodities treading list.

    Ronc – point of fact, most of Alaska’s crude goes to Asia, most of the Gulf crude goes to Europe and South America, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of land based wells that are setting capped and idle.

    In addition, oil companies in general have made a trillion $ in PROFITS over the last decade while collecting something like $43 billion in subsidies from the U.S. taxpayers (thanks to the GOP).

    Fron the New Haven Register, 02 Mar 11.
    “Recently, the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations sided with United Public Service Employees Union Local 424-Unit 21, saying the town violated the Municipal Employees Relations Act by retaliating against the union for attending and making certain comments at a Jan. 26, 2009, Board of Finance meeting. According to documents, one day after union leaders spoke out at the finance meeting about their concerns that excessive legal funds were spent on contract negotiations, First Selectman James Zeoli eliminated the free coffee and milk, and a day later he ended dress-down Fridays.”

    Sounds like retaliation to me.

  47. free coffee and milk and dress down Friday’s. That’s funny. Many times government offers a little sop to the workers knowing they cannot strike. I remember many, many negotiations where state workers won small concessions by management because management said the state could not afford pay increases. This was during high inflation days and the cost of living was rising dramatically because of OPEC or other outside forces. One time workers got a new state holiday (three holidays were consolidated into a new one) when private workers were getting huge pay increases. I’ve worked in three states, and not once did I ever think management was on the side of workers because of donations to politically elected officials. The managers who negotiate with the union are not beholden to the union, but to the taxpayers and to efficient state government.

    What a smokescreen some people are trying to throw up to mask their hatred for the middle class and hard working state employees.

  48. xring – how many foriegn donors to the AFL-CIO? The issue is the same for both sides of the house. You wanna make the Chamber the boogie man go right ahead. This goes for international unions also, so be careful what you wish for. Besides this has been debunked as a non-issue. Again, you wanna pontificate, go for it….

  49. Tuddo, I’m perfectly happy staying where I am, thank you. Public unions need to be busted, it’s as simple as that. End of argument.

  50. I say bust the public sector unions, once and for all! If they want to negotiat efor more wages and benefits,, put it on a tax levy and let the public decide. Or are they afraid to do that? C’mon, put your money where your mouth is.

  51. Foreign donations to AFL-CIO? Tough question, but since it is an American Union and has no represents no non-American workers, I will have to go with ZERO.

    From Open Secrets, Independent CONSERVATIVE groups spent $98 million dollars while ALL unions spent $47 million.

    PS: OS shows no donations from foreign unions.

  52. Hey bB, kinda sucks when you are trying to show how smart you are and you screw up your comment.

    :-)

  53. R_O I take it you are speaking from experience.

    ;-)

  54. tired vicki, maybe you wouldn’t be so tired if you had more money? ;-)

    I love how all liberals say I only need enough money to pay my bills, put a roof over my head and feed my family or myself. They always say that don’t want or need fancy new things.

    I say horsethit.

    Everyone wants to get as much as they can for themselves. It is just human nature. Why do you think all the libs on this board whine about the rich so much (right P brothers)? Because they want what they have. Deny it all you want, but you know it is true.

  55. R_O only the morally corrupt measure everything in terms of personnal gain.

  56. Sure….

    So when you are up for your employee performance review at work, you tell your manager that you did not try to excel in what you do because it is morally corrupt to try to better yourself?

    Keep on with the koolaid.

  57. Nope, I work to to do my job better than any one else, and aways try to talk my boss out of a larger pay rise than he wants to give me. I just don’t let my job and pay be the be all end all of my life.

  58. Roncella says:

    Tuddo, how sad that even you won’t face the facts that Green nuts and al gore and Obama have made it more and more difficult to open and drill for more oil along our coasts and in Alaska.

    You can site all the reports you want to in order to justify your thinking but anyone with even a small amount of common sense could see that the greenies and extreme pullution nuts are sending us all to the poor house.

  59. MarksonofDarwin says:

    I just want to say that I’m absolutely beside myself with delight that we now all agree that opensecrets.org is a reliable source! It’s the little things…

    I agree with bB and others who say that teachers are NOT getting rich.
    They’re not.

    However, they do make a comfortable middle to upper-middle class salary….with a good amount of time off every year.

    It’s always been understood that if you are looking for a large income, you don’t look for a government job. They have extraordinary job security and retirement….but if you want to make it rich, you simply MUST work in the private sector. That’s where the wealth is created after all. So…those who go into teaching should understand up-front that they are going to live a middle class life. They are never going to be rich…but they are NOT poverty stricken either.

  60. MOD,

    Pierce County WA, 2 adults, 2 kids. 2010
    Per hour per year
    Living wage $28.01 $58.260
    Poverty wage $9.83 $20,655
    Minimum wage $8.08 $16,806

    In 2006 the average income in Pierce County was $78,335, and

    The salary scale for a JHS English teacher in Puyallup runs from $54,000 to $68,000

    http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/
    http://www.muninetguide.com/states/washington/Pierce.php
    http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Puyallup-School-District-Salaries-E212296.htm

  61. but if you want to make it rich, you simply MUST work in the private sector.

    Working for someone else isn’t the way to get rich.

  62. MarksonofDarwin says:

    xring,

    Not sure what your arguing. I said teachers are solidly middle class…and look, they are.

    bB,

    Working in the private sector doesn’t always mean you work for someone else. If you’re looking to grab the brass ring, your chances of doing so are much better as an entreprenuer. In the private sector, not as a government worker.

  63. MarksonofDarwin says:

    xring,

    Since you’re the numbers expert, could you explain the difference between the “average” and the “median”?
    Thanks.

  64. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Washington State OFM doesn’t jive with your numbers either.

    http://www.ofm.wa.gov/economy/hhinc/medinc.pdf

    The median household income for 2009 is $55,436
    The median household income estimate for 2010 is $55,302

  65. MoD – speaking from experience, working for yourself can also be very non-lucrative.

  66. Fibonacci says:

    MarksonofDawn
    Probably too late for you to see this,b ut average is to add up all incomes and divide by total number. Mean is to rank from highests to lowest and the mean is the one in the middle.

  67. Roncella, you say, ”
    You can site all the reports you want to in order to justify your thinking but …”

    I take pride that I don’t come to a conclusion or decision before I research the facts. Unortunately, we have the Republican Party and people like you in America who take pride in returning to the days of the “Know Nothing” party. You know what you want, whether it is good for America or not, you know what you believe, whether it is factual or not, and the truth and facts are not going to stand in your way of ruining our country and eliminating the middle class from our natiion. Have fun with a devastated planet, a ruined economy and a class-based country. It takes people who cannot use facts to believe that the CEO’s of the oil companies who spread the gospel of more drilling are doing so in the USA’s interest. China needs more oil for their booming economy and theya re willing to pay for it and develop alternative energy supplies to take its place when it is gone. The USA will be left way behind while the oil companies send the oil drilled in the USA to China. That is what is happening now. It is a global oil exchange, and we buy oil from that global exchange. Any oil drilled over the amount the US refineries can handle does not stay in the USA. And that is a fact, not an uninformed belief system.

  68. MOD, to expand on Fibonacci explanation (which is correct by the way).

    Median household income means there are just as many households earning more as are earning less.

    Average (or mean) household income is the sum of all household incomes divided by the number of households.

    Taken together our data shows that there are some very wealthy households in the county pulling the average ($78K) above the median ($55K).

    If we could eliminate the upper and lower 10% of all households, we could calculate a ‘trimmed’ mean, which is often used to reduce the impacts of overly large or small numbers on the average.

    Based on the average, teachers I would place a single income teacher in the lower middle class.

  69. last line should read average income, not average teacher.

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