Sunday, January 25, 2009

If a statistic sounds like it can't be true

[Post edited. Although there has been much talk of layoffs now and in the past, I believe public concerns about long lines may have averted the set of layoffs referred to in the last link.]

Via Instapundit, I read on Chicago Boyz that California could not possibly lay off government employees, since :

California has ~2.3 million unionized government workers and ~18.6 million civilians. With so many people organized with a laser-like focus on increasing taxes and spending, the private working citizens of California find it nearly impossible to prevent government workers from voting their own paychecks.

...

Of course no one is being whipped, but in effect an ordinary citizen of California cannot get their desires for reduced state spending implemented due to the disproportionate power of the State’s employees and allied interest. It appears now that the government unions will not accept any solution to California’s budget crisis except increased taxes in a declining economy. Ordinary citizens have no choice but to either emigrate or just lie there and take it.


Shannon Love hasn't forgotten that 18.6 million is more than 2.3 million, it's just that the 2.3 million are much more focused on keeping their salaries than the rest are on cutting them.

When I questioned this statistic in the comment section, I didn't get a reference, but the 'clarification' does sound a little more plausible. (I forgot to fill out the top part of the comment section, so I'm anonymous.)

# Anonymous Says:
January 23rd, 2009 at 10:55 pm

California has ~2.3 million unionized government workers?

I’m just curious where you got this figure. It sounds extraordinary. I take it you only include workers for the state of California, since employees for other levels of government would be happy to cut state workers and save on their taxes.

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# Shannon Love Says:
January 23rd, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Anonymous 10:55 pm,

California has ~2.3 million unionized government workers? I’m just curious where you got this figure

California has 2.3 million state and local government workers. Most 90% are in one union or another. Teachers, police, fire, corrections officers, highway workers, office workers etc all belong to unions which to my knowledge are compulsory. The unions way in heavily on political issues. They are especially noted for spending millions on advertising campaigns. They collect those millions from union dues. So, even if 49% of government worker oppose an issue the other 51% can force the union to support it.


Do all these groups vote to support each other at all times? Here's a possible answer from a few months ago. Is it really only the state employees who think they are providing a service?

Of 9,017 DMV employees statewide, 1,345 — or 15 percent — could be gone by Friday after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs an executive order to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis.

The department also has 751 contractors who could be terminated. And that won’t be good news for customers, said Amber Carlson, who would lose her $14.75-an-hour part-time job answering phones and processing paperwork at the DMV’s Sacramento headquarters.

“People aren’t going to get their licenses back as quick. There’s going to be more people on hold trying to get their questions answered,” said Carlson, 25. “He (Schwarzenegger) is trying to push people, and he’s pushing the wrong people.”

Schwarzenegger is expected to sign the executive order Thursday, the first day of the August pay period.

About 22,000 temporary, part-time and contract state workers face layoffs. That could mean fewer food safety inspections and cutbacks in the programs that stock fish in the state’s rivers and lakes, among many consequences.

1 comment:

my eyes is going crazy said...

Sorry. Your site is impossible to read because of your design choices.

You're using a black background, and multicolored text on top of it (literally!).

This isn't conducive to efficient communication. If you have important points to make, you'd be wise to present them in a form that allows them to be easily processed by other humans.