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GRCentro

Budget Cuts

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Unions cost too much. It seems like everyone is learning that these days - THE HARD WAY.

The schools cannot afford Union drivers.

The city cannot afford Union workers.

GM cannot afford Unio shops.

America cannot afford Unions.

The number one reason jobs are leaving America (hint, it is not Bush's fault or Clinton's fault). Unions. They are too damn expensive and they are bankrupting government agenices and companies. At some point someone needs to finally break the Unions.

For Union workers: You may work hard, but you are over compensated and over paid. When I have two degrees, three certifications, and advanced network security experience and still have trouble making as much as a button pusher - there are problems. There is not a money tree, and even these mega industries/governments have their limits. You can only screw someone for so long...

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I hope someone picks up the tab for ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle.

I think this is all cyclical. Government bloats, it cuts, bloats again, etc. I think Supernova touches on a point (although a little more passionately than my own views) that is privatizing bussing save money they should do it. I think a job is a contract between an employee and an employer. You do a good job, they keep you. They treat you like crap, you leave for greener pastures. I don't think anyone in this world deserves a job just because... It reminds me of when Kenowa Hills teachers were going to strike. One of their gripes: Not wanting to pay for their healthcare. Raise your hand if you don't pay anything for healthcare. I don't see many hands... :)

Joe

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Unions cost too much.  It seems like everyone is learning that these days - THE HARD WAY.

The schools cannot afford Union drivers.

The city cannot afford Union workers.

GM cannot afford Unio shops.

America cannot afford Unions.

The number one reason jobs are leaving America (hint, it is not Bush's fault or Clinton's fault). Unions.  They are too damn expensive and they are bankrupting government agenices and companies.  At some point someone needs to finally break the Unions.

For Union workers:  You may work hard, but you are over compensated and over paid.  When I have two degrees, three certifications,  and advanced network security experience and still have trouble making as much as a button pusher - there are problems.  There is not a money tree, and even these mega industries/governments have their limits.  You can only screw someone for so long...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That

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"Michigan Company Awarded Contract to Provide Bussing for GRPS, Possibly Adding 200 New Jobs...."

"Local Steelcase Supplier Awarded Major Contract to Produce Widgets, Adding Over 500 Jobs..."

"City of Grand Rapids Cuts Fat in Budget to Become one of the Leanest and Most Efficiently-Run Cities in the Country, and Possibly Improving Their Bond Ratings at the Same Time"

Still waiting to see these headlines, GR Press/WOOD TV8!

Or my favorite that I heard the other day: "Steelcase Announces Closing of Unnecessary Plants in Grand Rapids, Despite Having Their First Quarterly Profit in .... Years" Despite????!!

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Freddy, come on, that is just ridiculous. Slavery? I see the point you are attempting to make, but the slavery remark is just plain retarded.

As for America's future, we are entering a new era of jobs in America, and that is ok. There will always be manufacturing in America. Heck, almost all of the Japanese car makers are building plants in the U.S. I think we just need to get leaner and meaner. Lean manufacturing and cut out some of the absurd benefits that factory workers get.

I am part of the "knowledge worker" class that states fight over, but do I ask for guarantees that my job will exist in 5 years (or even 1), pensions, 4 weeks vacation, mega-health plans that extend past retirement age, a whistle that tells me when to stop and start working, etc. Nope!

The job issue will solve itself. Innovation breeds new jobs. Let's keep our people entrepreneurial and innovative and the rest will work itself out.

Joe

That

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Freddy, come on, that is just ridiculous. Slavery? I see the point you are attempting to make, but the slavery remark is just plain retarded.

As for America's future, we are entering a new era of jobs in America, and that is ok. There will always be manufacturing in America. Heck, almost all of the Japanese car makers are building plants in the U.S. I think we just need to get leaner and meaner. Lean manufacturing and cut out some of the absurd benefits that factory workers get.

I am part of the "knowledge worker" class that states fight over, but do I ask for guarantees that my job will exist in 5 years (or even 1), pensions, 4 weeks vacation, mega-health plans that extend past retirement age, a whistle that tells me when to stop and start working, etc. Nope!

The job issue will solve itself. Innovation breeds new jobs. Let's keep our people entrepreneurial and innovative and the rest will work itself out.

Joe

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It is not retarded to one who is a descendant of 8 or more generation of slaves. Of course I was being facetious, but that is how America broke the economic inertia of building a new nation and financing its move into the industrial revolution. Be that as it may,

The bottom line Is that Americas fortunes have been related to others misfortunes. First the Native Indians, then the African slaves, then the European economies destroyed by two world wars...all culminating to benefits for America. Now, there is no new land to steal, the country no longer practices slavery, there has been no major world wars destroying economies...and thus America is losing its accrued advantage.

The root motivation of capitalism is profit maximization. When companies have the opportunity to be more profitable by using workers in country where the pay is much less, they will seek the path of least resistance to profit. The cost of labor in America is prohibitive to profits and global competitiveness and hence companies, are shipping production, design and engineering, call centers and many other jobs to places with much cheaper labor cost. It is a fallacy to assume this is isolated to manufacturing. Information Technology professionals are off shoring as well as engineers.

The most ominous correlation though is the correlation between WEALTH and FINITE ENERGY CONSUMPTION. The wealth a nation and people are...the more finite energy they consume. Thus, wealth and success produces increased rates of finite energy depletion. Hence, as more nations live in peace and prosper and grow...so will the depletion of finite resources. Consequently, those economies addicted to petroleum are in for a downsizing as the resource starts to produce diminishing returns.

I am not going to belabor the points...we have discussed this before and will have to just agree to disagree. However, truth is not bound by a person ability to recognize it. Ergo...if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it....it makes a sound none the less.

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Or my favorite that I heard the other day: "Steelcase Announces Closing of Unnecessary Plants in Grand Rapids, Despite Having Their First Quarterly Profit in .... Years" Despite????!!

Depsite the fact that the great majority of that work is to be dispersed throughout the region to small shops - that can actually do stuff cheap and on time. The concept has been around for decades, business schools preach it, it seems like it just takes a while for Steelcase to catch on.

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Depsite the fact that the great majority of that work is to be dispersed throughout the region to small shops - that can actually do stuff cheap and on time.

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Yes but lets be honest....the spinning off of parts production is mainly done to reduce labor unit cost of producing those parts. The labor component of cost is greater at higher wage, better benefits Steel Case and GM than at many part supplier companies. If this is the future way to compete...having the cheaper source of labor....it is a race to the bottom for many American workers. GM or Steel Case cuts 500 worker at 22 dollars an hour...then a new company is created that will create 500 jobs paying 12 dollars an hour, producing the widgets that once paid 22 dollars an hour to produce. Eventually, those jobs will be threatened by another company who can reduce unit labor cost by paying workers 8 dollars an hour....eventually ending up having the work done by Mexican immigrants at minimum wage...when the free market forces run into government command constraints on wage rates.  The future is so bright you gotta wear shades huh?

Productivity gains is the only thing that can hold off this raise to reduce cost by virtue of reducing the component labor cost per unit of output.

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Wow! So much Central Planning to do, so little time! Of course companies are going to continue to reduce costs, as should any organization that takes in revenue, has goals, has expenses, has commitments to meet, etc.. If the government forces companies in the US to NOT be able to reduce costs here, then by all means they should move that facet of their business elsewhere. A company that is forced to produce and not make a profit is called, everyone together now: A HOBBY! If we are going to be "honest", spend a good deal of time in a manufacturing environment and you will quicky see that $22 an hour is far too much to be making for standing at a metal stamping press, or an injection molding machine, day after day, packing parts, unloading parts, assembling parts, inspecting parts, parts, parts, parts. It is mindless, unskilled tasks all day long. $22 adds up to $44,000/year, plus health benefits, plus vacation, plus life insurance, plus 401K, etc.. That is more than many college graduates are making these days.

The anti-capitalists have been around for decades, and they will continue to predict the collapse of capitalism, hoping that one day they can say "I told you so!". And yet, the so called "elite only apply here" American Pie keeps growing and adding more minorities, wages keep growing, the economy keeps growing, revenue and deficits fluctuate up and down. And the rest of us keep plugging along, improving our skills, taking classes, raising our kids, running errands, working HARD at our jobs, volunteering our time when we can, giving to charity, getting involved, just to make a little difference in our part of the world.

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Wow!  So much Central Planning to do, so little time!  Of course companies are going to continue to reduce costs, as should any organization that takes in revenue, has goals, has expenses, has commitments to meet, etc..  If the government forces companies in the US to NOT be able to reduce costs here, then by all means they should move that facet of their business elsewhere.  A company that is forced to produce and not make a profit is called, everyone together now:  A HOBBY!  If we are going to be "honest", spend a good deal of time in a manufacturing environment and you will quicky see that $22 an hour is far too much to be making for standing at a metal stamping press, or an injection molding machine, day after day, packing parts, unloading parts, assembling parts, inspecting parts, parts, parts, parts.  It is mindless, unskilled tasks all day long.  $22 adds up to $44,000/year, plus health benefits, plus vacation, plus life insurance, plus 401K, etc..  That is more than many college graduates are making these days.

The anti-capitalists have been around for decades, and they will continue to predict the collapse of capitalism, hoping that one day they can say "I told you so!".  And yet, the so called "elite only apply here" American Pie keeps growing and adding more minorities, wages keep growing, the economy keeps growing, revenue and deficits fluctuate up and down.  And the rest of us keep plugging along, improving our skills, taking classes, raising our kids, running errands, working HARD at our jobs, volunteering our time when we can, giving to charity, getting involved, just to make a little difference in our part of the world.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Come on Dad in GR, you can do better than that. When all else fails...make your arguments using labels with negative connotations. Anti-Capitalist...Communist, socialist, liberal....any kind of label that prevents one from having to perform the mental task of providing a logical and factual counter thesis that repudiates.

No one is predicting the collapses of capitalism, people, such as myself, are simply predicting a downward correction in the American economy towards a world equilibrium point. That trend towards a global equilibrium point will be the product of capitalism itself and a global free market for labor and the law of supply and demand as more countries become capitalistic.

The oversupply of anything in demand reduces the value of that which is in demand. It is the undersupply of things demanded that increases the value or cost of it. Globally, there is an over supply of cheap labor...not only cheap uneducated labor, but cheap educated labor. As companies become international, they will take advantage of these cheap sources of labor more and more. If American workers want to compete, then they will have to accept lower wages to bid for those jobs.

Yes, while we continue to work hard, educate ourselves, provide for our families, give to charity and all those other things, people in other parts of the world are doing the same thing...and supplying labor at a cheaper cost.

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Come on Dad in GR, you can do better than that. When all else fails...make your arguments using labels with negative connotations. Anti-Capitalist...Communist, socialist, liberal....any kind of label that prevents one from having to perform the mental task of providing a logical and factual counter thesis that repudiates.

No one is predicting the collapses of capitalism, people, such as myself, are simply predicting a downward correction in the American economy towards a world equilibrium point. That trend towards a global equilibrium point will be the product of capitalism itself and a global free market for labor and the law of supply and demand as more countries become capitalistic.

The oversupply of anything in demand reduces the value of that which is in demand. It is the undersupply of things demanded that increases the value or cost of it. Globally, there is an over supply of cheap labor...not only cheap uneducated labor, but cheap educated labor. As companies become international, they will take advantage of these cheap sources of labor more and more. If American workers want to compete, then they will have to accept lower wages to bid for those jobs.

Yes, while we continue to work hard, educate ourselves, provide for our families, give to charity and all those other things, people in other parts of the world are doing the same thing...and supplying labor at a cheaper cost.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Exactly. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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"Michigan Company Awarded Contract to Provide Bussing for GRPS, Possibly Adding 200 New Jobs...."

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...200 jobs from outside city, while taking away 225 local driver and mecanic jobs. And if this works out fiscally well for the GRPS, we know it won't stop here. Who's next? Cutodians, chefs, ground maintenance...

"Local Steelcase Supplier Awarded Major Contract to Produce Widgets, Adding Over 500 Jobs..."

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...not to mention the 800 jobs they sent to Mexico last year.

"City of Grand Rapids Cuts Fat in Budget to Become one of the Leanest and Most Efficiently-Run Cities in the Country, and Possibly Improving Their Bond Ratings at the Same Time"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

...Parks and recreation, museum funding, the fire department - Fat? I'd call it a necessity. We're cutting off a foot. And there's still a $72 million deficit to go, by the way.

I understand that sacrifices must be made to keep the boat afloat, but the sacrifices shouldn't be paraded as victories. People are still losing jobs.

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hope you're prepared to back that up, supernova. unions paid for my mom's college education. they're paying for my cousin's right now. a union negotiated pension keeps my grandma fed (and gives her the freedom to work to contribute time and money to her community.)

unless you've got a credible economic thesis behind that sloganeering rhetoric, you should think twice before you talk like you're on AM radio. maybe you highly educated button pushers should get smart and organize, instead of sitting at a keyboard spouting misconceptions about people who got the right idea before you.

Unions cost too much.

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depends on the union your talking about.

I used to be union labor (UFCW) and while they passed a wage increase a couple years ago, they blasted everything else off the table. benefits, pensions, etc. are pretty much to the point of uselessness... I left the company a month ago.

I think Unions are starting to become less relevent as they start to bend over, and take it in the arse from the companies they work for.

I believe in the idea of the Union, but the implementation has been less then stellar

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And when the company they work for moves to Mexico or China, the entire workforce will be dumbfounded as to why they moved, griping about how they are just in it for the profit, etc., etc.

Unions have definitely helped American life. My feeling though is that they draw a line in the sand and won't back down, ultimately causing the people that pay them to lose their jobs.

Unfortunately, it's an age old debate that is very black and white to both sides of the table. I think they should add unions to the things you shouldn't talk about in public: religion, politics and unions... :)

Joe

hope you're prepared to back that up, supernova. unions paid for my mom's college education. they're paying for my cousin's right now. a union negotiated pension keeps my grandma fed (and gives her the freedom to work to contribute time and money to her community.)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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And when the company they work for moves to Mexico or China, the entire workforce will be dumbfounded as to why they moved, griping about how they are just in it for the profit, etc., etc.

Unions have definitely helped American life. My feeling though is that they draw a line in the sand and won't back down, ultimately causing the people that pay them to lose their jobs.

Unfortunately, it's an age old debate that is very black and white to both sides of the table. I think they should add unions to the things you shouldn't talk about in public: religion, politics and unions... :)

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think you are right Joe. I do like to see so many people engaged and interested in the system/economy, though. I have to confess that I, like probably some others who frequent this forum, are more interested in new urban developments, architecture, skylines, etc. and how they might increase the marketability/viability/excitement of Grand Rapids, then I am in arguing about socioeconomic/political issues. Those issues are better left to other people than me, that can do a better job than me :D

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The corporate side view of unions is that business activity is flexible, manifesting in peaks and valleys, while workers pay is an inflexible fix cost. The corporations and management would like the power to make wages flexible to changing economic conditions, given the lack of price dexterity in the ability to maintain profitability. It

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Those devil worshippers would never be allowed in our city (crude joke about Amway Devotees).

Personally, I think Grand Rapids should split their district and let all of the high schools fight for themselves. Maybe share some services (such as bussing). This would allow some schools to thrive instantly, while more attention (and hopefully dollars) could be paid to the schools that are troubled. Grand Rapid's also needs some major tax help. People in the city have SUCH a hard time voting for increased taxes for schools.

It may be dumb of me, but I feel that each High School could do a better job independently than is being done now as a whole.

Joe

GR budget: Cut, and cut more

Idea posed to keep pools open

Maybe they could solve all the budget woes with corporate sponsership.    :P    Shall we rename the city and replace the city seal?  Gamble & Proctor Rapids, toothpaste capital of the world...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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