"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
March 23, 2011 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Maine governor Paul LePage has ordered the state's Labor Department to remove a mural he says is too pro-labor. He has also declared several of the building's conference room names to have "one-sided decor." This was reportedly at the behest of anonymous businesses who complained of a pro-labor bias.

An anonymous fax released by the governor's office complains, "In studying the mural I also observed that this mural is nothing but propaganda to further the agenda of the Union movement. I felt for a moment that I was in communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses."

Muralist Judy Taylor said in response, "There was never any intention to be pro-labor or anti-labor. It was a pure depiction of the facts." The artist's website has a page describing the mural, including identifying what's going on in each panel.
posted by Celsius1414 (282 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's like taking down all the pictures of civil rights rights activists from the US DOJ's Civil Rights Division. How much more Stalin-like can these guys get for all their bellicose prevaricating about creeping communist menaces?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:40 PM on March 23, 2011 [25 favorites]


How many jobs did this create?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:40 PM on March 23, 2011 [25 favorites]


Maine has an 8.4% unemployment rate. Congratulations to Governor LePage for winning the all-important war on cosmetic changes, in lieu of actually accomplishing anything constructive!
posted by zarq at 1:41 PM on March 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


Wow.

What a country.
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oddly enough, most Communist countries banned labor unions.
posted by tommasz at 1:42 PM on March 23, 2011 [23 favorites]


Dear ruling elite:

Can I just go ahead and sell myself into indentured servitude already? There are no jobs, no money to borrow to start a business, and I can't afford to keep paying for my health insurance out of pocket.

I'd make an excellent butler, footman, or manservant, I'm literate, and can lift heavy things.

Thanks!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:43 PM on March 23, 2011 [58 favorites]


The organization I work for is holding a contest to pick a replacement: www.savemaine.org
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can't help but eventually come to the conclusion that the current generation of republicans is gearing up for flat-out open war against the rest of us, when you see stuff like this.
posted by Citrus at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [40 favorites]


Yeah, I was about to be all, You Know Who Else… Banned Labor Unions.

And not only that, businesses should support labor. After all, it's their workers' labor that made their success possible.
posted by klangklangston at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


My populist outrage muscles are getting really really tired. And we probably have 20 more months of this kind of bullshit.

How much long-lasting damage to policy, structure, and the historical record will be done by then? I am loathe to speculate, because of those tired outrage muscles.
posted by hippybear at 1:45 PM on March 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yay! More Tea Party Stunt legislation! "Ooh, look at me , look at me! See! I'm a potential national office candidate for 2012!" Little known fact: LePage is french for "fuckwit"
posted by KingEdRa at 1:45 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Between this and Rockerfeller center it's become clear that the greatest thread to capitalism are murals.
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on March 23, 2011 [24 favorites]


You can't help but eventually come to the conclusion that the current generation of republicans is gearing up for flat-out open war against the rest of us, when you see stuff like this.

Sooner rather than later. Once we're finally out of Iraq those Blackwater guys have to have something to do.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:46 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know about that "literate" part BOP... I've been reading your tweets...
posted by tomswift at 1:46 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Read through some of the comments on this article and they have to be the most civilized newspaper comments I've ever seen.
posted by dave78981 at 1:47 PM on March 23, 2011


Once we're finally out of Iraq those Blackwater guys have to have something to do.
Libya.
Just give it time.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:48 PM on March 23, 2011


Both as someone raised in Maine and very relieved to have left AND a fan of black comedy, I am enjoying the Governor Dim era a lot. What's that crazy guy going to do next?
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:48 PM on March 23, 2011


Seeing that one of the panels is titled "Rosie the Riveter" and celebrates Maine ship-building during World War II, I can only assume that the anonymous faxer hates World War II, America, patriotism, apple pies, good old-fashioned hard work, and The Greatest Generation, if not our entire way of life altogether.
posted by Copronymus at 1:52 PM on March 23, 2011 [29 favorites]


What the fuck? No seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:53 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oddly enough, most Communist countries banned labor unions.

More oddly, they also proscribed art and artists deemed harmful to the state. If the Department's mural is replaced, it should be replaced by the biggest, most Stalin-esque painting of Beloved and Respected Comrade Governor LePage anyone can find.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:54 PM on March 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


So, the mural designed as "History of Labor in the State of Maine" portrays LABOR UNIONS? GOOD GOD. WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO?

you want that 'living in north korea' feeling? tea party loyalty oaths and standing to mindlessly repeat the pledge of alliegence every morning can give you that LOVING DEAR LEADER feeling, honey.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:54 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's pro-labor because it shows working people? One presumes it should have shown "men of the mind" instead, among which the letter writer must surely consider themselves. Here's a hint: If you need your paycheck, you are a working person, and shouldn't carry water for people who don't.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:56 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd make an excellent butler

Although we appreciate your interest, we regret to inform you that at the present time we are only considering qualified applicants with a degree in Butling.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:56 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah. We need to take down that obviously-too-labor-lovin' mural in the DEPARTMENT OF FUCKIN' LABOR Building.

When is the revolution? Seriously. Do we have to wait until The Gilded Age 2.0 is completely in place?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:56 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's like taking down all the pictures of civil rights rights activists from the US DOJ's Civil Rights Division

Is this a real thing that is real? For reals?
posted by desjardins at 1:57 PM on March 23, 2011


A CEO, a Tea Party activist and a Union employee are sitting at a table. A plate of a dozen cookies sits in the middle of the table. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."
posted by rocket88 at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2011 [105 favorites]


From the first link:
"It is inappropriate for a taxpayer funded agency to appear to be one sided or the other...The Department of Labor works closely with employees and employers."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2011


I don't know about that "literate" part BOP

Oh come on. Everybody pads their resume.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


There is no such thing as being to pro-labor. Unions require critical thinking and attention to keep on track, but there is no such thing as being to pro-labor.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2011


There's a single, simple message that Democrats need to get out every time1 something like this happens:

"They have no solutions."

Removing a mural? While doing nothing about 8.4% unemployment? They have no solutions.
Special sessions to defund Planned Parenthood? In the middle of wars and a horrendous recession? They have no solutions.
Budget-cutting plans that actually increase the deficit? They have no solutions.
Barter as a medical cost-cutting plan? No solutions.

Four words. Simple narrative. Amply backed up by just about every news story. Force them to come up with some workable plans instead of heckling from the sidelines.

1. Yeah, I laughed ruefully when I wrote it.
posted by PlusDistance at 1:58 PM on March 23, 2011 [95 favorites]


desjardin: no, I don't think so, thank God. It's just the labor movement that's being expunged from the history books so far.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:01 PM on March 23, 2011


They couldn't have waited a lousy two more days to do this on the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire? It's like you're not even trying, crazy tea party guys!
posted by enn at 2:01 PM on March 23, 2011 [21 favorites]


if they can get up to 100% unemployment, they won't have any unions to worry about.
posted by empath at 2:01 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Refusing to attend Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebration event and telling the NAACP they can "kiss his butt"?

Oooh, this LePage, he's a charmer!
posted by Mike Mongo at 2:02 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


> And we probably have 20 more months of this kind of bullshit.

20 months? Try forever. Politics and dumbass populism were made for each other.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:03 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


A CEO, a Tea Party activist and a Union employee are sitting at a table. A plate of a dozen cookies sits in the middle of the table. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."

I posted this in a FPP a few days ago. Happy to see it reposted.
posted by dry white toast at 2:05 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Would it be acceptable to just change the laborers to bent-over positions while painting in management guys behind each one of them? Would that be "equal" enough?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


"one-sided decor."

Disappointing to me this wasn't one of those Oliver Sacks stories about an interior decorator who'd had a stroke and didn't notice there was no paint or furniture in part of the room.
posted by yerfatma at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


The organization I work for is holding a contest to pick a replacement

I vote it gets replaced with this


When is the revolution?

Whenever you want it, people.
posted by Hoopo at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


How many jobs did this create?

Well, the painting over of the murals and meeting room signage changes will naturally be out-sourced to a local private firm with absolutely no ties to the Republican party.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:08 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


If I'm understanding this properly, he felt as though he were in North Korea, so ... he suppressed both art and history?

Brilliant!

Chalk one up for free society!
posted by entropone at 2:09 PM on March 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


At this point, I'm seriously considering stopping reading the news, because each new policy seems meaner and more hateful than the last. :(
posted by rosa at 2:09 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of reminded of how the Taliban used to dynamite statues of the Buddha out of petty spite.
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on March 23, 2011 [36 favorites]


Why should unions have moral privileges beyond those given to any other racketeers trying to monopolize and set prices for a previously competitive economic activity? Why should the state glorify unions -- which add jobs only in union officialdom -- and not celebrate the businesses that actually create the employment that pays the taxes that builds these fine government buildings, and pays muralists to decorate them? The left does itself no favors by indulging its maudlin attachment to these thug cartelizers -- not with the business-free ruins of Detroit, Youngstown and Gary still smoldering in the wake of their passage.
posted by Faze at 2:11 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ahem...

*clears throat*

Are you fucking kidding me?!
posted by quin at 2:13 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


see also -- Diego Rivera's 'Man at the Crossroads'
posted by puny human at 2:13 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Faze, you try too hard. You need to be write in a manner that would indicate an IQ low enough that you could plausibly believe the shit you write.
posted by empath at 2:13 PM on March 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


O hey Faze is back! What's a moral privilege?
posted by Hoopo at 2:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, the painting over of the murals and meeting room signage changes will naturally be out-sourced to a local private firm with absolutely no ties to the Republican party.

Nah, they'll probably outsource it to an out-of-state firm like our fellow-traveling governor in Florida did the catering for his lavish multi-million-dollar inaugural ball.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You do have to feel bad for Gary Indiana. First the scandal surrounding certain alums of their music conservatory, and then the unions came in and razed the place.
posted by penduluum at 2:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sigh ...is it more noise or a derail?
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still marveling at the phrase "too pro-labor". What does that even mean?
posted by DU at 2:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wait, I can't tell if Faze is being sarcastic or not...
posted by shesdeadimalive at 2:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


/me posts animated gif of old ladies clapping
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:16 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obligatory: Faze is not a troll. He actually believes these things.
posted by desjardins at 2:16 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, I can't tell if Faze is being sarcastic or not...

Does it matter?
posted by empath at 2:16 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obligatory: Faze is not a troll. He actually believes these things.

Maybe.

Or maybe he's just a remarkably consistent troll.
posted by empath at 2:17 PM on March 23, 2011


Also, the Department of Labor building decor is too pro-labor? And it's scaring away the businessmen? I freaking love it.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 2:17 PM on March 23, 2011


Faze isn't a troll. He's a performance artist.
posted by hippybear at 2:18 PM on March 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm still marveling at the phrase "too pro-labor". What does that even mean?

It's the "balanced" in "fair and balanced." It lets him pretend it's about being impartial ("too pro-labor") rather than about being anti-worker.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:20 PM on March 23, 2011


Businessmen are pretty easily spooked, like bunnies.
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on March 23, 2011 [33 favorites]


*slams forehead repeatedly on desk*
posted by brundlefly at 2:21 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd make an excellent butler, footman, or manservant, I'm literate, and can lift heavy things.

I think you may have just talked yourself right out of a job there...
posted by hermitosis at 2:21 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


mere Yankeeism? ok this guy wants a mural gone...

"one-sided decor" not in keeping with the department's pro-business goals."
wow, just wow.
The images are iconic.
right Faze...kidding
posted by clavdivs at 2:21 PM on March 23, 2011


The gorgeous Art Deco frieze above the doors of the old Toronto Stock Exchange shows a dozen or fifteen figures engaged in labour -- mining, operating machinery, etc -- and a solitary top-hatted capitalist with his hand in a worker's pocket.

God bless this evil socialist dystopia.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:23 PM on March 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


You're right. The companies should be able to bid in order to have a mural of their logo emblazoned on whatever this was on.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:23 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


More oddly, they also proscribed art and artists deemed harmful to the state. If the Department's mural is replaced, it should be replaced by the biggest, most Stalin-esque painting of Beloved and Respected Comrade Governor LePage anyone can find.

Paging Sheperd Fairey, please come to the Red State courtesy phone.
posted by ocschwar at 2:24 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think I agree with the governor. They should replace that mural with a nice soothing picture of a kittycat.
posted by dilettante at 2:25 PM on March 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Red State courtesy phone.
im stealing that. well no.
WHY is this happening to art?
posted by clavdivs at 2:25 PM on March 23, 2011


Meanwhile, the equally feckless legislature has finally decided on one of the toughest decisions they have ever had to make: choosing between the whoopie pie and blueberry pie for Official State Dessert.

Their verdict: declare the whoopie pie the Official Treat and the blueberry pie the Official Dessert

WINNING!
posted by briank at 2:27 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


The real irony is that the last panel actually depicts:

"The Future of Labor in Maine: A figure from the past offers a hammer to workers of the present, who are unsure of its value in a changing world."
posted by hermitosis at 2:27 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can think of a few uses for a hammer in today's changing world.
posted by desjardins at 2:29 PM on March 23, 2011 [25 favorites]


Why should unions have moral privileges beyond those given to any other racketeers trying to monopolize and set prices for a previously competitive economic activity?
Why should business owners have moral privileges beyond those given to any other slave-exploiters trying to ransom food and medicine for profit? (See? This is fun.)
Why should the state glorify unions -- which add jobs only in union officialdom -- and not celebrate the businesses that actually create the employment that pays the taxes that builds these fine government buildings, and pays muralists to decorate them?
Math is hard, isn't it?
posted by verb at 2:30 PM on March 23, 2011 [14 favorites]


The mural was erected in 2008 following a jury selection by the Maine Arts Commission and a $60,000 federal grant. Judy Taylor, the artist from Seal Cove, said Tuesday that her piece was never meant to be political, simply a depiction of Maine's labor history.

A $60,000 federal grant. It should never have been put up in the first place.

This is the real insult to the taxpayers.
posted by three blind mice at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2011


Faze,

I think I can pretty much guess what you'd like to see replacing this mural.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


This has all got me depressed beyond words.
posted by JanetLand at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2011


I can think of a few uses for a hammer in today's changing world.

If I had a hammer...
I would hammer in the morning.
posted by ocschwar at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


A $60,000 federal grant.

By the Bush administration, no less. /scoff
posted by mek at 2:35 PM on March 23, 2011


I totally want see more corporate, 1984, stalin-esque, eye in the sky art. I think it would be totally rad to see dystopian after dystopian image like i was living in a movie or the future or both!
posted by Shit Parade at 2:36 PM on March 23, 2011


Mural to be replace with "A Lively Fisting".
posted by dirigibleman at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


A CEO, F'ze, and an elf are sitting at a table. A plate of a dozen cookies sits in the middle of the table. The CEO takes 12 of the cookies, turns to F'ze and says, "Why should elves have cookie privileges beyond those given to any other scavengers trying to monopolize and set prices for previously competitive crumbs? Why should the state glorify elves -- which add jobs only in lembas bread and pointy-toed boots -- and not celebrate the businesses that actually create the ovens that bake these fine cookies, and pays elves to cook them? The left does itself no favors by indulging its maudlin attachment to these thug beggars -- not with the business-free ruins of Isengard, Mordor, and Detroit still smoldering in the wake of their passage." So F'ze outsources the bakery to orcs and trolls, and pays them in fresh elf meat. Good cookies, though.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2011 [38 favorites]


They could replace it with this:

Nixon the protector
posted by Omon Ra at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why should the state glorify unions -- which add jobs only in union officialdom -- and not celebrate the businesses that actually create the employment that pays the taxes that builds these fine government buildings, and pays muralists to decorate them?

Because unions, for all their flaws, represent the workers who do the work that generates the profits that businesses need to create the employment that pays the taxes that builds these fine government buildings. Also, the workers represented by unions pay a substantial proportion of the taxes that build those buildings and pay the muralists who decorate them; they certainly pay a higher proportion of their income in taxes than businesses do, and probably proportionally more than the people who own those businesses. Also, unions result in better wages for workers, thus creating a larger pool of tax dollars to use for building those buildings and paying those muralists. Also, workers build the actual buildings, paint the murals, and collect the taxes in the first place; none of these things would exist without their labor.

Oh wait, you meant that as a rhetorical question, didn't you?
posted by twirlip at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


Nixon?! He created the EPA! The man was redder then Lenin!!!
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Demeritt said the rooms could be named "after mountains, counties or something."

One of the current committee rooms is named after Frances Perkins, the U.S. labor secretary under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Perkins became involved in labor reforms following the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that resulted in the deaths of 146 garment workers in New York City.




How many jobs did this create?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:40 PM on March 23 [4 favorites +] [!]


Oh don't you worry, there's a connection between this and jobs, but it makes me kind of sick to think about.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:39 PM on March 23, 2011


What's the big deal here? The guy's just trying to cleanse public spaces of degenerate art.
posted by indubitable at 2:39 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


and not celebrate the businesses that actually create the employment that pays the taxes

Businesses don't pay taxes, at least not to the extent that workers do.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


O hey Faze is back! What's a moral privilege?


Mural privilege. The Governor is taking it away.
posted by entropone at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's a moral privilege?

Twenty souls, same as in Hell.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:42 PM on March 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ever get the feeling that the wealthy elite are fully aware that there's a class war going on?

"I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half."
--Jack Gould
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:42 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


You're right The Whelk, how about this then.
posted by Omon Ra at 2:43 PM on March 23, 2011


I work in public policy. I help politicians write policy, with city planners, lawyers, and experts doing the heavy lifting. But I will say that I see an awful lot of hostility towards policy wonks. Politicians have a vision and we policy folks have to find a way to make it actually do a scrap of good or make the execution mirror the intent. Good politicians will see themselves as clueless and work with you to make it happen. But with bad politicians (whom I have never been employed by but often work with) they will say fuck you to good policy and fuck you to anyone who tells them that their idea is actually harmful.

Those people use symbolism as policy. This and the anti-union fiascos in WI, OH and MI are symbols. But you have to hand it to LePage, he really made that painfully obvious.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Another hilarious wrinkle in the "Maine's Government is Absurd" story:

Maine's Speaker of the House, Robert Nutting is nicknamed The Diaper Bandit because his pharmacy fraudulently billed the state $1.6 million for adult diaper Medicaid reimbursements. Naturally, he's against government waste.

This is like a state government version of "Confederacy of Dunces." It's awesome.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Here are descriptions of the artwork the governor deems inappropriate.

The Apprentice : Here, a Cobbler trains his young Apprentice. In the background, are scenes from that era.

Lost Childhood : Child labor was common in Maine. They frequently performed dangerous tasks for long hours.

The Textile Workers : Young women were often sent to the mills by their families, who could not, or would not support them.

The Secret Ballot :For the first time, workers were allowed to vote anonymously in 1891.

First Labor's Day : In 1884, Maine celebrated it's first "Labor's Day", a day for the workers to celebrate.

The Woods Workers :A member of the IWW or "Wobblies" tries to organize the Maine woodsmen.

The 1937 Strike : Scenes from an unsuccessful strike attempt to create better conditions for women workers.

Francis Perkins : FDR's Labor Secretary, and untiring labor activist, a Maine Labor icon.

Rosie the Riveter : Maine's version of WWII women workers participated as ship-builders.

The Strike of 1986 : The International Paper strike in Jay, Maine. One that still divides the town.

The Future of Labor in Maine : A figure from the past offers a hammer to workers of the present, who are unsure of it's value in a changing world.
posted by theora55 at 2:47 PM on March 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, we could give Maine to Canada, and then nuke it.
posted by tomswift at 2:47 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


How many jobs did this create?

Congrats. That just became my de-facto thing to say about idiots like this governor.

I will rather shamelessly represent it as my own thought.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:48 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


You can't help but eventually come to the conclusion that the current generation of republicans is gearing up for flat-out open war against the rest of us, when you see stuff like this.

I'm sitting trying to think who "the rest of us" is. I think you could replace that phrase with "humans" (as opposed to corporations) and it would be accurate.
posted by marxchivist at 2:49 PM on March 23, 2011


As a replacement, Gov. LePage and those urging him to remove the existing murals suggest a mural of a horse on a farm, struggling in its labors. Under the horse will appear the words, "I will work harder!"
posted by mosk at 2:49 PM on March 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


Maine governor cancels Labor Day; institutes "Ridiculous Regional Seafood Sandwich Day" in its place.
posted by mintcake! at 2:50 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Businesses don't pay taxes, at least not to the extent that workers do. Employers pay into FICA, matching what the employee pays, plus unemployment insurance, and worker's comp insurance. These are protections and benefits we have because workers and unions fought for them, but they are not negligible.
posted by theora55 at 2:50 PM on March 23, 2011


Ever get the feeling that the wealthy elite are fully aware that there's a class war going on?

I do. But what amazes me is that they think it will stay a cold war, or that they will survive if it goes hot. It's like they are both counting on people being polite and nonviolent as a way to keep them down, and at the same time, seeing how far they can push them before something breaks.

I sometimes think that the last decade or so has been a part of some grand sociological experiment, and we are all the lab rats.
posted by quin at 2:50 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Naturally, he's against government waste

Ew. In the context of a government employee and adult diapers this left a pretty nasty visual.
posted by Hoopo at 2:50 PM on March 23, 2011


I am furious that the governor would destroy public art, which is owned by the People of Maine, and should not be casually destroyed. I call it vandalism.
posted by theora55 at 2:51 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


What was the name of that singing guy who got a good job as a gummint lawyer of some sort who had them boobs covered up at his office? Yeah, him.

"some business owners"

Never in my life have I heard about a group of malingering and ill-mannered public welfare recipients being referred to as "some business owners".

In retrospect, the governor and his administration are in their right to engage in a war of useless politics as a real one would probably exposure their fake sense of patriotic entitlement, not to mention their lack of, what's the word?, cojones?, when confronting their own misgivings.
posted by jsavimbi at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2011


Lost Childhood : Child labor was common in Maine. They frequently performed dangerous tasks for long hours.
"The directive comes amidst rising tensions between the LePage Administration and organized labor over the governor’s support for a right-to-work bill and efforts to roll back the state’s child labor laws." *
posted by ericb at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Under the horse will appear the words, "I will work harder!"

I see what you did there.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why should corporations have moral privileges beyond those given to any other racketeers trying to monopolize and set prices for a previously competitive economic activity? Why should the state glorify corporations -- which add jobs only in corporate officialdom -- and not celebrate the workers that actually create the goods and services that pay the taxes that build these fine government buildings, and pays muralists to decorate them? The right does itself no favors by indulging its maudlin attachment to these thug cartelizers -- not with the business-free ruins of Detroit, Youngstown and Gary still smoldering in the wake of their passage.
posted by FreedomTickler at 2:54 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


"In an e-mail to Labor Department employees, acting Chief Laura Boyett sought to explain the decision:
'We have received feedback that the administration building is not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers – primarily because of the nature of the mural in the lobby and the names of our conference rooms. Whether or not the perception is valid is not really at issue and therefore, not open to debate. If either of our two constituencies perceives that they are not welcome in our administration building and this translates to a belief that their needs will not be heard or met by this department, then it presents a barrier to achieving our mission.'"*
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on March 23, 2011


'We have received feedback that the administration building is not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers."

This sounds even scarier when you replace the word "workers" with "people."
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:57 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


We have received feedback = we got an email from a crank and can't figure out how to use email filters.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:57 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


One insane teaparty fax accomplishes more than 100 000 signed letters to elected representatives.
posted by mek at 2:58 PM on March 23, 2011


How many jobs did this create?

In my state, the Republicans are in control of both houses for the first time in like a century. So far, their job creation agenda has included:

1. Requiring picture ID's to vote.
2. Constitutional amendment against same sex marriage.
3. Restricting access to abortion.
4. Resolution against the Health Care Law.
5. Sending back a federal grant for railroad improvements.

(Only thing that passed so far was #4, and the Governor vetoed that.)
posted by marxchivist at 2:59 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maine has an 8.4% unemployment rate. Congratulations to Governor LePage for winning the all-important war on cosmetic changes, in lieu of actually accomplishing anything constructive!

Hey now, zarq, that's unfair! The gov has created at least one job -- for his daughter.
posted by virago at 3:01 PM on March 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


If either of our two constituencies perceives that they are not welcome in our administration building and this translates to a belief that their needs will not be heard or met by this department,

Ooh! Can we send this to the fuckers in Madison that were kicking people out of the Capitol building? Because if this is going to be a talking point, I want to make sure everyone is on the same page...
posted by quin at 3:02 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


LePage's claim to fame is how he grew a popular salvage and surplus business in Maine. Rags to riches story from his admirers here.

As for myself, I moved out of the state a year ago... and there goes the neighborhood. I'm missing Maine less each day, even though I live in a south-ish state now.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:02 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do Republicans hate America?
posted by Aquaman at 3:03 PM on March 23, 2011


Why do Republicans hate America?

They don't. They love America so much, they bought it!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:04 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why do Republicans hate America?

Yeah, can we tell them to love it or leave it yet?
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:04 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by drezdn at 3:07 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Businesses don't pay taxes, at least not to the extent that workers do. Employers pay into FICA, matching what the employee pays, plus unemployment insurance, and worker's comp insurance. These are protections and benefits we have because workers and unions fought for them, but they are not negligible.

Heaven forfend they'd have to pay, you know, like an income or profit tax as well!
posted by hippybear at 3:07 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Give me a sharpie and I'd be perfectly happy to put Nike swooshes on the clothing of the people in that mural.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:08 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to MPBN the cost of the mural was paid for by private donations. Who's going to pay for the removal?

This is the zillionth ridiculous thing pulled by our new Tea Party Overlord here in Maine. I'm truly ashamed. (And don't even get me started on the referendum that overturned the gay marriage bill passed by the legislature.)
posted by miss tea at 3:13 PM on March 23, 2011


Slightly off-topic, but can somebody explain why the GOP is going after child-labor laws? First Missouri, and now Governor LePage, seem to have a burning desire to get kids to work. Is there a reason?

Oh, and this mural removal shit is just pathetic. It's like the Republicans nationwide are making fun of people with the most childish, peevish legislation they can dream up. Here's an interesting paragraph from Thinkprogress' story on LePage's drive to undo child-labor laws that I think sums up American conservatism today:

At an event in Lewiston, ME last night, the state’s tea party governor Paul LePage (R) told a crowd of French-Canadian-Americans that when he was 12 years old, he used to hide out in the French-Canadian part of town and steal Halloween candy from children. “Isn’t that awful? And now I’m governor of Maine,” LePage said with a laugh.


It's the revenge of the aging bullies. Sarah Palin is the archetypal grown-up "Mean Girl", and the Tea Party seems filled with what John Powers a few years ago called "sore winners", the kind of people who don't just want to win, they want to rub their opponent's faces in dog feces while laughing hysterically.
posted by jhandey at 3:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [12 favorites]



Slightly off-topic, but can somebody explain why the GOP is going after child-labor laws? First Missouri, and now Governor LePage, seem to have a burning desire to get kids to work. Is there a reason?


They don't ask for benefits, and you hardly even have to pay them?
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The other interesting thing is the way Maine votes. In 2008 the state voted overwhelmingly for Obama. State-wise, the last three governors have been a progressive independent for two terms, a democrat for two terms and now a tea bagger. Its two senators are considered the most liberal republicans around today (Snowe and Collins), and the two house seats are held by a fairly liberal democrat and a sometimes conservative democrat.

But this governor is a real piece of work.

Pass the Allen's coffee brandy, Mayor Curley.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:17 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


They don't ask for benefits, and you hardly even have to pay them?

And between the kids and prisoners, the cheap labor workforce is going to be booming for the wealthy elite.
posted by quin at 3:20 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You'll never compete with China that way.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on March 23, 2011


First Missouri, and now Governor LePage, seem to have a burning desire to get kids to work. Is there a reason?

Well, once kids have 40 hour jobs, they won't need schools anymore, which is going to save the taxpayer a TON of money.
posted by absalom at 3:23 PM on March 23, 2011 [13 favorites]


Put your kids to work, no spending on child care. It's a win-win!
Oh and union thugs aren't so scary when they are just nine year olds.

Back to the union-busting, though. The right loves to trot out the argument that unions aren't necessary any more, because we have labor laws and government agencies that protect workers. Then of course, they turn around and gut the laws and the agencies that enforce them. I'd accuse them of cynically thinking that Americans are idiots, but I'd have agree with them to an extent.

And as far as the mural goes...what would "Great Moments in the History of Business" look like? I seriously can't imagine anything that wouldn't be a complete Onionesque parody of itself.
posted by Xoebe at 3:27 PM on March 23, 2011


We replace all jobs with reality show contests like Who wants to Be A Stock boy!

These positions are unpaid, you're paid in exposure and for the love of stocking.
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Slightly off-topic, but can somebody explain why the GOP is going after child-labor laws?

It's hard to characterize this as "the GOP going after child-labor laws." Missouri seems to have been a case of a idiot state senator who didn't even get a co-sponsor. LePage seems to be nakedly courting a single business interest from a restaurant association.

If you could point at anything larger, you could say it's examples of appeals that look like "pro-business," as a contrast to merely being right-wing. In other words, defending themselves against competition within their own party -- competition that accuses them of being RINOs.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:30 PM on March 23, 2011


The mural was erected in 2008 following a jury selection by the Maine Arts Commission and a $60,000 federal grant. Judy Taylor, the artist from Seal Cove, said Tuesday that her piece was never meant to be political, simply a depiction of Maine's labor history.

three blind mice: A $60,000 federal grant. It should never have been put up in the first place.

This is the real insult to the taxpayers.


Here's the thing: we live in a time of excess. There is plenty to go around, but the majority get skimmed off the top. Arts councils are proof. Some are funded by well-to-do donors, yet others are government funded. Some in government realize that it's valuable for everyone if the arts are supported.

Does everyone really need to labor and produce some good or service? The industrial revolution started some 200 years ago, yet so many people are still focused on making new jobs, all the while new technology allows more work to be done by fewer. Work Harder! We don't have enough! Art? Fah! Jobs for everyone! WE NEED MORE GOODS AND SERVICES! WORK HARDER!
posted by filthy light thief at 3:34 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


zarq : Maine has an 8.4% unemployment rate. Congratulations to Governor LePage for winning the all-important war on cosmetic changes, in lieu of actually accomplishing anything constructive!

Compared to 8.9% national average.


DU : I'm still marveling at the phrase "too pro-labor". What does that even mean?

It means that, as a privately-employed Maine resident, I pay for 3/4ths of my 401k and about a third of my medical, and the state employees' union has whined non-stop over LePage's plan to make them pay more than the current average of SIX FRIGGIN' PERCENT toward their benefits.

It means that he believes non-union state employees should have the right not to have to pay union dues, the majority of which go to political interests contrary to their own (ie, pro-union).

It means that Maine has one of the single worst business climates in the country, with - literally - OVER A THIRD of the population on some form of welfare, and that we'd damned well better get people working if we hope to have a state left to live in.


I didn't vote for him last November, but I sure as hell will when he runs for reelection.
posted by pla at 3:35 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So in other words, you want everyone to get as fucked by their employer by as you are by yours? Why don't you unionize, you friggin' whiner?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:36 PM on March 23, 2011 [63 favorites]


Is there a reason?

If there's a concerted effort to repeal child labor laws, my guess is that the fast food industry has a hand in it.
posted by drezdn at 3:36 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's a pretty ugly mural.
I mean, this is is a horrible, bullshit decision. But it's still an ugly mural.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:37 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


You've got a 401k, eh? good for you! I used up most of my retirement funds trying to make house payments this year, after my teacher wife's benefits and salary were reduced, and my pay was frozen and I gave up my health care at work in order to allow for the frigging 20% increase to keep our employees covered..

enjoy the retirement!
posted by tomswift at 3:38 PM on March 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


Slightly off-topic, but can somebody explain why the GOP is going after child-labor laws? First Missouri, and now Governor LePage, seem to have a burning desire to get kids to work. Is there a reason?

Same reason they want to outlaw abortion. Orphans are cheaper than slaves.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:39 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


It means that, as a privately-employed Maine resident, I pay for 3/4ths of my 401k and about a third of my medical, and the state employees' union has whined non-stop over LePage's plan to make them pay more than the current average of SIX FRIGGIN' PERCENT toward their benefits.

I'm sorry that your labor is undervalued by your employer, but there's no reason why those who have managed to keep the race to the bottom from eroding their hard-earned deferred pay which keeps them somewhat in the middle class should have to stoop to your level.

It means that he believes non-union state employees should have the right not to have to pay union dues, the majority of which go to political interests contrary to their own (ie, pro-union).

Well, if they're non-union state employees, why would they be paying union dues without receiving union membership? That's insane, and makes no sense. Can you explain this a bit better?

And if you haven't heard, unions tend to raise the tide for all workers in the industry in which the union is active. Anyone who has a job has benefited by union work, and if you're a worker, there are no union actions which go against the worker's interests. If the worker thinks there are, they've been brainwashed into thinking that.

So in other words, you want everyone to get as fucked by their employer by as you are by yours? Why don't you unionize, you friggin' whiner?

QFMFT
posted by hippybear at 3:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


entropicamericana : So in other words, you want everyone to get as fucked by their employer by as you are by yours? Why don't you unionize, you friggin' whiner?

Why? Because I believe in getting promotions and keeping my job on MY OWN merits, rather than having my salary held artificially low to compensate for all the dead weight my employer would otherwise get to carry around if we went union.

Simple as that. Every field, every shop, even every department, has its bell-curve of performance among employees; I find that, almost without exception, the biggest fans of unions sit on the left half of that curve.
posted by pla at 3:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, those post office murals done during the days of WPA...and then Diego Rivera's mural, taken down : but even the great capitalist Ford honored his workers!

is 1933 mural for the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan featured a portrait of Communist Party leader V.I. Lenin; the resulting uproar led to his dismissal and to the mural's official destruction in 1934. Similarly, a 1948 mural for the Hotel de Prado in Mexico that included the words "God does not exist" was covered and held from public view for nine years. Even so, Rivera's talent for historical murals and his tributes to earthy folk traditions made him one of the most influential artists in the Americas and one of Mexico's most beloved painters.

One of his most famous works is a tribute to workers in Detroit, Michigan, commissioned in 1932 by Henry Ford
posted by Postroad at 3:45 PM on March 23, 2011


"It's hard to characterize this as "the GOP going after child-labor laws."

GOP Puts Guy Who Thinks Federal Child Labor Laws Are Unconstitutional On Senate Judiciary Committee
posted by jhandey at 3:48 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


my salary held artificially low to compensate for all the dead weight my employer would otherwise get to carry around if we went union.

Your salary is already held artificially low by the fact that it's in the best interest of your employer to do so. Unions are one of the few things successful in fighting this trend.
posted by drezdn at 3:50 PM on March 23, 2011 [20 favorites]


Wait a minute. You say that you are upset about having to provide for your own retirement and health care, and that the union people shouldn't be bitching about having their pay cut by 6% in order to make up what they would otherwise be getting in deferred wages, and then you say that union wages are kept artificially low?

Cognitive dissonance much?
posted by hippybear at 3:51 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


It means that, as a privately-employed Maine resident, I pay for 3/4ths of my 401k and about a third of my medical...

Sucks to be a bad negotiator, doesn't it? The best response is probably to punish people who are better at it than you.
posted by verb at 3:52 PM on March 23, 2011 [21 favorites]


> ... Robert Nutting is nicknamed The Diaper Bandit because his pharmacy fraudulently billed the state $1.6 million...

This link was worth reading if only because I learned Maine has a "Department of Health and Hu-man Services".

When did Morbo start writing for the Bangor Daily News?
posted by m@f at 3:55 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


hippybear : Well, if they're non-union state employees, why would they be paying union dues without receiving union membership? That's insane, and makes no sense. Can you explain this a bit better?

The state of Maine has a law that basically says that if you work in a union shop, the union can force non-members to pay dues by the reasoning that everyone benefits from the union's collective bargaining.


but there's no reason why those who have managed to keep the race to the bottom from eroding their hard-earned deferred pay which keeps them somewhat in the middle class should have to stoop to your level.

Except, yeah, kinda - The state needs to balance its budget. Care to guess at its single biggest liability, year after year, over the next 20 years?

So take your pick - Stop fixing the roads, make state employees pay their fair share, or let single moms freeze to death over the winter. Did I mention we already have


hippybear : Wait a minute. You say that you are upset about having to provide for your own retirement and health care

Where exactly did I say that? I consider my current terms of employment entirely fair. My complaint comes from the all-but-free ride given to state employees (particularly the pension), not my own situation.
posted by pla at 3:55 PM on March 23, 2011


Surely Stephen King can fight this asshole?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:59 PM on March 23, 2011


Well, that law is silly, or else non-union members who are paying union dues are stupid for not simply joining the union. But if, as you say, everyone benefits from the collective bargaining, why would you say that the union is working against the non-union workers interests?

And seriously, if the state didn't bother to properly manage the deferred pay of the union workers' pensions, then that's an issue which should be addressed at the management level, not on the backs of the workers who took lower pay now in order to be guaranteed an income and health care later.

You see, pensions aren't a free ride. They're an agreement between the worker and the employer that the worker will be paid less now in order to receive an income later once they've retired. That's their money. They've worked for it, they've earned it, and now because the employer didn't manage to steward those funds properly, they're getting shit on.

Talk about completely unfair.
posted by hippybear at 4:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [14 favorites]


Why? Because I believe in getting promotions and keeping my job on MY OWN merits, rather than having my salary held artificially low to compensate for all the dead weight my employer would otherwise get to carry around if we went union.

Holy shit, John Fuckin' Galt is among us. Let us genuflect before this self-made dynamo of capitalism!
posted by entropicamericana at 4:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


I think its time to ban Faze. After all, his contrarian views are in direct opposition to the vast majority of shareholder-members of Metafilter. He is a parasitic element, whose verbal thuggery serves only to aggrandize his views while contributing nothing to the actual production of useful commentary. I'm sure a cost benefit analysis would indicate a net negative in regards to his presence here, as well as show he is an impediment to the website owner's ability to continue to successfully monetize said commentary. If he wishes to have a forum to continue to spew his rhetoric, let him finance it himself, rather than continue to appropriate resources he neither owns nor contributes to (save the almost comically low, presumptively symbolic low entry fee) in any meaningful way. He's a drag on productivity and a discordant element in an otherwise fairly harmonious workforce. Its time to fire his ass.
posted by Chrischris at 4:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Take that to MeTa, Chrischris, if you really want to have that conversation.
posted by hippybear at 4:02 PM on March 23, 2011


Care to guess at its single biggest liability, year after year, over the next 20 years?

Care to guess which party has been fighting fixing that problem?
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:03 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nah, see, there are invisible tags around that. I must have forgotten to close them...
posted by Chrischris at 4:03 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


GOP Puts Guy Who Thinks Federal Child Labor Laws Are Unconstitutional On Senate Judiciary Committee

Well, in fairness, the guy really was quoting a Supreme Court decision, handed down more than 50 years before he was born, that said Congress couldn't regulate the commerce of goods created by children.

But there's a lot of jackass Supreme Court decisions, and the GOP is still in the Senate minority. Vote in your local elections, kids.

Know who else is on the Judiciary committee? Al Franken.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:03 PM on March 23, 2011


sarcasm tags that is....
posted by Chrischris at 4:04 PM on March 23, 2011


Surely Stephen King can fight this asshole?

King certainly has the reach advantage, but his lateral foot speed isn't what it used to be.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:05 PM on March 23, 2011


Judy Taylor, Judy Taylor....where have I heard that name before....JESUS CHRIST IT'S MY WIFE...Thanks for all the support !
posted by lobstah at 4:05 PM on March 23, 2011 [27 favorites]


hippybear : They're an agreement between the worker and the employer that the worker will be paid less now in order to receive an income later once they've retired.

Simple fact - State employees in Maine get that cherry pension and make more than similarly-employed private-sector folks. They don't get "paid less now in order to receive an income later".

I'll agree Maine has its problems, and having let the unions get away with negotiating such sweetheart deals in the past definitely counts as one of them. And I'll gladly give LePage credit for finally stepping up to the plate to fix that problem.


That's their money. They've worked for it, they've earned it, and now because the employer didn't manage to steward those funds properly, they're getting shit on.

No one said anything about taking away what they've already "earned". Just making them pay their fair share going forward (and capping CoL increases, but if the union didn't manage to shove those down the public's throats up-front, you won't see me crying over it).


Look, I hate Corporate America as mcuh as any MeFite (seriously, check out my posting history - Hell, I firmly believe we should do away with the entire concept of "incorporation"). But do you all seriously think welfare dollars grow on trees and states can use the same ruinous deficit spending policies as the federal government? States have two, and only two, options - Either raise taxes, or lower spending; and Maine already occupies #10 in the most-taxed states list.
posted by pla at 4:15 PM on March 23, 2011


Simple fact - State employees in Maine get that cherry pension and make more than similarly-employed private-sector folks. They don't get "paid less now in order to receive an income later".

Now you're just talking out of both sides of your mouth. Didn't you just post a comment not too long ago saying that unionized workers have their wages kept artificially low because of the deadweight in the system? Didn't you just say that is why you're glad you're not in a union?

No one said anything about taking away what they've already "earned". Just making them pay their fair share going forward (and capping CoL increases, but if the union didn't manage to shove those down the public's throats up-front, you won't see me crying over it).

Um... Well, if you've had a deferred income pension which you're now having to pay into out of your wages, you're effectively taking a pay cut because previously you were being paid more (but receiving it later) and now you're being paid less. And if you're capping cost of living increases, then you're basically robbing someone of maintaining their livelihood, because if you don't make more money but it costs more money to live, then you've fallen behind.

Once again. Pensions are not a free ride. They are deferred wages.
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on March 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Either raise taxes, or lower spending; and Maine already occupies #10 in the most-taxed states list.

Which list are you using? Many of them are designed to support a particular viewpoint.
posted by drezdn at 4:24 PM on March 23, 2011


My complaint comes from the all-but-free ride given to state employees (particularly the pension)

Mild derail, but I don't understand what you mean here. In what sense is the pension an "all-but-free ride"?

Right now, I'm considering which of a couple possible jobs to take. Simplifying only a little: One has a retirement fund to which I contribute X% of my pre-tax income; the employer contributes something like 2X, it all goes into a retirement fund, I get it when I retire. The other has a defined-benefit pension scheme: I would contribute something very close to what you indicate these employees contribute (6%, more or less), every year I work, and when I retire I would get a fixed percentage of my final salary (or, in one other scheme, a sort of weird average of my salary over my career) as pension income. Clearly the relative merits of these two schemes are going to be part of my decision on which job to take.

I think I'd be rightfully pissed if, after choosing to go with the defined-benefit pension, I was later told I had to contribute substantially more in order to get the same benefit, or that my benefit was going to be greatly cut, or whatever. The point is that the pension benefit is a big part of why I might take this job. I fail to see how it's "all but free."
posted by chalkbored at 4:26 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


But do you all seriously think welfare dollars grow on trees

Oh, and for the record, pensions are NOT welfare.
posted by hippybear at 4:29 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


We had a sweet Parade for Cesar Chavez in San Francisco.
posted by straight_razor at 4:32 PM on March 23, 2011


Well, that law is silly, or else non-union members who are paying union dues are stupid for not simply joining the union. But if, as you say, everyone benefits from the collective bargaining, why would you say that the union is working against the non-union workers interests?

It's a pretty common clause and as an occasional freelancer I've worked in both union and non union shops. You can guess who pays more and the dues are negligible.

It's nice to see you, Pla, fight the good fight solo and all but you are not fighting me or unions or your neighbor. You are fighting well organized groups of people who only want one thing, your money. They'll do anything they can to get it, fund "Institutions," buy politicians to change laws to their favor, jeez the list could go on forever.

When you accept a job you get the best you can no? Don't begrudge others the same option.
posted by Max Power at 4:35 PM on March 23, 2011


I look forward to a mural that shows the history of business in Maine, from the founding of the first maple butter factory to the history of the factory outlet.
posted by zippy at 4:43 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


hippybear : Didn't you just post a comment not too long ago saying that unionized workers have their wages kept artificially low because of the deadweight in the system? Didn't you just say that is why you're glad you're not in a union?

Yet again, you put words in my mouth. I said "rather than having my salary held artificially low to compensate for all the dead weight my employer would otherwise get to carry around if we went union". Not "employers", not "in the system", but within a single shop.


you're effectively taking a pay cut because previously you were being paid more (but receiving it later) and now you're being paid less.

And? I fail to see the problem there. Perpetuating a mistake just because we've always done it that way doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

Plenty of US auto industry employees made more than I do, too. Perhaps I should change careers and take one of those sweet jo... Oh, wait, remind me what happened to the US auto industry?


drezdn : Which list are you using? Many of them are designed to support a particular viewpoint.

Wikipedia's State tax levels in the United States page. Second sortable table, sorted on the "Tax revenue as % of personal income" column.


hippybear : Oh, and for the record, pensions are NOT welfare.

Again: Roads, benefits, single moms. Pick two. The rest of this amounts to semantics.


Max Power : When you accept a job you get the best you can no? Don't begrudge others the same option.

Yes, I do. Me, as an individual, offering my skills and experience.

As opposed to "us", as a group, getting a good deal by threatening to bring an organization to its knees via extortionate bargaining tactics.
posted by pla at 4:43 PM on March 23, 2011


Maybe the problem, Pla, is that you're wrong about what part of the bell curve you fall on.

But who knows, I'm no expert on Dunning-Kruger.
posted by klangklangston at 4:44 PM on March 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Perpetuating a mistake just because we've always done it that way doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

Clearly then, you'd be ok with your employer cutting your pay tomorrow, rather than continuing to perpetuate a mistake.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:45 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


As opposed to "us", as a group, getting a good deal by threatening to bring an organization to its knees via extortionate bargaining tactics.

You mean like management?

If capital wasn't already and always fucking organized there wouldn't be a need for labor to be organized.

Obviously, you don't believe in any kind of fairness; just that "businesses" deserve to exist with whatever power they can accrue while workers should just shut up, fuck off and die.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:50 PM on March 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


Yeah, I'm all for getting the best deal I can get with all power given to me individually or collectively. Management feels the same. We are fundamentally at odds.

That being said, why didn't they just commission a nice pro business mural that someone who loves business donated?
posted by josher71 at 4:55 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ever notice how the people who think capitalism should be a survival of the fittest-style deathmatch are sure they're one of the fittest, and always will be?
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:55 PM on March 23, 2011 [18 favorites]


The state of Maine has a law that basically says that if you work in a union shop, the union can force non-members to pay dues by the reasoning that everyone benefits from the union's collective bargaining.

If your contract was negotiated by the union then you have to pay a negotiating fee which is your union dues minus the amount the union pays for political lobbying. Since this is America, land of free, federal law requires unions to disclose exactly how much of union dues go to political campaigns: this amount I believe is generally less than 5%. Then the union must mail a copy of that report to every non-union member covered by a union contract. Try having that level of transparency from any business oriented group.

I'll agree Maine has its problems, and having let the unions get away with negotiating such sweetheart deals in the past definitely counts as one of them. And I'll gladly give LePage credit for finally stepping up to the plate to fix that problem.

get away with negotiating? in most states in the US government workers are generally prevented from striking.... but you want to prevent them from negotiating?
posted by ennui.bz at 4:56 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Roads, benefits, single moms. Pick two.

Where exactly do you live, that these are the only options?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:59 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


And I'll gladly give LePage credit for finally stepping up to the plate to fix that problem.

So, having a mural taken down is going to fix the problem?
posted by localhuman at 5:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


> The gorgeous Art Deco frieze above the doors of the old Toronto Stock Exchange shows a dozen or fifteen figures engaged in labour -- mining, operating machinery, etc -- and a solitary top-hatted capitalist with his hand in a worker's pocket.

God bless this evil socialist dystopia.


T.O. has lots of business-inspired public art.

Oh my god its rob ford
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:02 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


"It is inappropriate for a taxpayer funded agency to appear to be one sided or the other...The Department of Labor works closely with employees and employers."

There is rarely so clear an indication that a political party believes that the membrane separating employee and employer is not permeable or fungible. It's not what they're doing so much as why, and the why is that they cannot be seen to "prefer" one side or the other, embedding the assumption that there are sides. An immobile and stratified class structure is their aim, they have as much as said so. They could not have provided a better argument for Marx if they'd tried.
posted by Errant at 5:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Judy Taylor, Judy Taylor....where have I heard that name before....JESUS CHRIST IT'S MY WIFE...Thanks for all the support !
posted by lobstah at 4:05 PM on March 23
Very cool. Ever since I read this story, I've been wondering something. Perhaps you can ask your wife. When she was commissioned to make the mural, did her contract include a VARA waiver?

VARA or the The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA), 17 U.S.C. § 106A provides the artist with a right of integrity in some commissioned works. Depending on the specifics of the commission, your wife might actually be able to sue if they take her mural down.

I'm not saying that she can or should in this circumstance. It was just something I was thinking about. Obviously this is not legal advice and I am not you or your wife's attorney.

I think VARA is a really interesting law and have done some work involving it, and I'd be really interested in discussing its applicability in this instance. I know there's a bunch of other art/IP focused lawyers on mefi, and I'd love to hear some opinions on this.
posted by Arbac at 5:14 PM on March 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


I grew up pretty close to Greenbelt, Maryland, which was one of the very first planned communities, and it was built on public cooperatives, some of which live on in modified form to this day. The original core is a really lovely bit of deco urban planning, with concrete houses with little streamlining swooshes built in and grade-separated pedestrian/cycling walkways connecting everything, complete with underpasses to avoid grade crossings in many places. The compact urban core contains the cooperative grocery, little shops and restaurants, and a wonderful old movie theater, and there's a great modern cooperative, the New Deal Cafe, keeping the coop spirit alive and vibrant.

There's also a lot of stunning artwork by Lenore Thomas, rendered in a blocky, deco style that is almost Soviet in its hardnosed sturdiness, includes a series of bas reliefs on the streamline moderne community center that just have to be seen in person to believe. Highlighting mottos like "TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION," "INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY," "PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE," and more, they warm the heart of an unrepentant fan of Social Democracy like myself, and they're just unexpectedly, wonderfully, outstandingly neato.

Greenbelt wasn't perfect (there's an ugly history of segregation that went on until '63, alas), but it worked, it worked well, and the people there were happy. This, of course, drove people like Joe Fucking McCarthy insane, and like all assholes with power, he and his cronies went after Greenbelt all hammer and tong, pushing rules banning Greenbelt residents from federal jobs (because they're communists there, you know) and trying to slice the place in half with the new Baltimore-Washington Parkway. They weren't able to kill the town, but they lopped off a huge piece of the urban fabric with the enormous concrete canyon of the Parkway, so it's not quite in the shape it was when it was designed.

Any reminder of what we were as a nation seems to infuriate the far right, because it interferes with their myth-making and revisionism, while they concentrate on memorializing Reagan in every part of the country, so people who beg to differ with the Stalinist history of the Becks and the Palins and the Teabaggers of the country really, really need to stand up and slam on the brakes before they start covering the surviving WPA murals around the country with billboards for fucking gold coins, Nutrisystem, and the Hannity Show.
posted by sonascope at 5:21 PM on March 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


Benny Andajetz : Obviously, you don't believe in any kind of fairness; just that "businesses" deserve to exist with whatever power they can accrue while workers should just shut up

Roads, Pensions, Moms. Fairness has nothing to do with it.


klangklangston : Maybe the problem, Pla, is that you're wrong about what part of the bell curve you fall on. But who knows, I'm no expert on Dunning-Kruger.

Wow, a thinly-veiled argumentum ad hominem... Consider me swayed by your clever insults!


It's Raining Florence Henderson : Where exactly do you live, that these are the only options?

The state budget consists of education (the vast majority), Mainecare/medicaid (#2), "Other" (#3), personnel services (#4 but just a hair below #3), debt management (interest on the hole past state leaders have dug for us, #5). Under "Other", you have HHS dwarfing everything else, followed by the state DOJ and police.

So I technically should have said "schools, benefits, moms", but feel free to pick any other set of categories from that list. And just to guide your decision, Maine has a current budget shortfall GREATER than the #2 slot on that list.


localhuman : So, having a mural taken down is going to fix the problem?

Y'know, I actually disagree with him on that one, I consider it just plain silly (though the hysterical reaction by "labor" has made the decision look downright solid by comparison). As well as his stance on the environment. As well as his stance on just about every "moral" issue on the map.

But as long as he mostly sticks to the economy, he has my vote.
posted by pla at 5:22 PM on March 23, 2011


Again: Roads, benefits, single moms. Pick two. The rest of this amounts to semantics.


No. Trillion-dollar wars (and counting), multibillion-dollar bailouts for billionaires, the rest of us.

Pick one.
posted by dogrose at 5:23 PM on March 23, 2011 [20 favorites]


Roads, Pensions, Moms. Fairness has nothing to do with it.

Again, this argument (whatever it means) does not adress your approval of organized capital but disapproval of any compensating organization of labor.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:28 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Maybe the problem, Pla, is that you're wrong about what part of the bell curve you fall on. But who knows, I'm no expert on Dunning-Kruger.

Wow, a thinly-veiled argumentum ad hominem... Consider me swayed by your clever insults!


And yet... Every field, every shop, even every department, has its bell-curve of performance among employees; I find that, almost without exception, the biggest fans of unions sit on the left half of that curve.

You began this whole thing with wholesale ad hominem right out of the gate.
posted by hippybear at 5:32 PM on March 23, 2011 [21 favorites]


pla, if we all can agree that taking down the mural ( the subject of this post, I guess ) is an odd act, then maybe we're all back on topic again?
posted by localhuman at 5:34 PM on March 23, 2011


I think I agree with the governor. They should replace that mural with a nice soothing picture of a kittycat.

yup.
posted by sebastienbailard at 5:36 PM on March 23, 2011


Excerpts from the Maine GOP platform

* We have let rot from within, the foundation upon which freedom and prosperity must be built…
* Years of neglect have allowed factions detrimental to the core principles of this nation, to entrench themselves in both political parties, and undermine the education of Constitutional principles vital to the survival of the republic. [Wait a minute -- does that mean the Republican Party is undermining the survival of the republic? Was this written by Tea Party activists?]
* The Tea Party movement is reminiscent of the principled revolt that led to the birth of the Republican Party in 1854… This year it is incumbent upon those Republicans who strive to protect and defend our Constitution, to reclaim that heritage. [Oh, I guess it was.]
* National sovereignty shall be preserved and retained as dominant over any attempted unconstitutional usurpations of such by international treaty. [How can a treaty be unconstitutional? And who's usurping our sovereignty, anyway?]
* Direct the State of Maine to join with other states in asserting our 10th amendment sovereignty rights which protect us from unconstitutional federal government intrusions. [In other words, sue to get rid of the health care law.]
* Oppose any and all treaties with the UN or any other organization or country which surrenders US sovereignty. Specifically:
1. Reject the UN Treaty on Rights of the Child.
2. Reject “LOST” the Law Of The Sea Treaty.
3. Reject any agreement which seeks to confiscate our firearms.
* Restore the process of assimilation of immigrants to preserve the benefits of an advanced educated and prosperous society… Arrest and detain, for a specified period of time, anyone here illegally, and then deport, period. [Wouldn't it be more efficient to send people to reeducation camps? That way, we could detain them and assimilate them at the same time.]
* Pass a Congressional reform act which includes the following provisions… Congress participates in the same health care plan as the general public. No preferential plans or treatment.[Oh, cool! Does that mean everybody gets to be on the congressional health plan now? Oh wait, I guess it means members of Congress should have crappy insurance like everybody else.]
* Restore “Constitutional law” as the basis for the Judiciary. [In other words, replace Constitutional law with "Constitutional law."]
* Reassert the principle that “Freedom of Religion” does not mean “freedom from religion”. [What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" don't they understand?]
* Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war (Jihad), made against the US on 23 Feb 1998, and fight the war against the United States by radical Islam to win. [Don't get too carried away, or you might accidentally say "fight the war against the United States."]
* Defeat Cap and Trade, investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth, and prosecute any illegal collusion. [Not only is global warming a myth, it's a conspiracy! Let's prosecute people for talking to each other about it!]
* Clarify that healthcare is not a right. It is a service.
* Repeal and prohibit any participation in efforts to create a one world government.
posted by edgeways at 5:40 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


hippybear : You began this whole thing with wholesale ad hominem right out of the gate.

Okay, I suppose I have to eat that particular crow.


localhuman : pla, if we all can agree that taking down the mural ( the subject of this post, I guess ) is an odd act, then maybe we're all back on topic again?

I didn't derail this one (it left the yard pretty much off the track), but if you can tell me the actual topic, I promise I'll do my best to stick to it. :)

So, the mural. Question - Does the governor have the right to change the drapes? Should the local Rotary club get a say in it if they don't like the new color?
posted by pla at 5:46 PM on March 23, 2011


So they're not worried about fluoridation anymore?
posted by Max Power at 5:47 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roads, Pensions, Moms.

Or none of the above.

You omitted LePage's preferred choice, tax cuts:
"LePage's two-year, $6.1 million budget proposal includes $200 million in tax breaks, including lowering the top income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 7.95 percent.

To pay for the tax cuts, the budget proposes several changes to teacher and state worker pension benefits.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:51 PM on March 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


I still don't understand about not putting up another, separate, mural.
posted by josher71 at 5:52 PM on March 23, 2011


Does the governor have the right to change the drapes?

Sure, I guess. But the people have the right to call him out for changing them because he has an ideological difference of opinion, and for wasting valuable government money doing so.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:53 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Wow, a thinly-veiled argumentum ad hominem... Consider me swayed by your clever insults!"

No, actually, it wasn't an argumentum ad hominem. It was snark. Perhaps you've overestimated your fluency in logic as well?
posted by klangklangston at 5:55 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe the problem, Pla, is that you're wrong about what part of the bell curve you fall on.
But who knows, I'm no expert on Dunning-Kruger.
posted by klangklangston at 7:44 PM on March 23


If you're going to call somebody stupid then why not have the stones to just say it? Better yet, don't be a douche at all and just attack the argument, not the person.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:59 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


It means that, as a privately-employed Maine resident, I pay for 3/4ths of my 401k and about a third of my medical, and the state employees' union has whined non-stop over LePage's plan to make them pay more than the current average of SIX FRIGGIN' PERCENT toward their benefits.

This comparison didn't make any sense to me, so I did a little research. Maine state employees contribute about 7.65% of their monthly paycheck towards their pensions, versus employer contribution rates in the neighborhood of 17.37% (a little lower for teachers, much higher for cops; see pp. 133-134 of this PDF). That's certainly a better deal for the employee than the 75-25 split on pla's 401k. On the other hand, 7.65% is higher than the average private-sector employee contribution to Social Security, which state employees aren't entitled to receive. That last link also asserts that the average pension payout is only $19,300 per year, and that there's enough money in the fund to keep paying out at current rates for another 15 years. Hardly an outrageous situation, in my opinion.
posted by twirlip at 6:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


@pla - If the governor were changing the drapes because they're red and that's the color of Communism (omg!), I'm pretty sure we'd all be having roughly the same reaction.

And if the drapes were, I don't know, donated by or bore the seal of the local Rotary club (do Rotary clubs have seals?), I'm pretty sure they'd be reacting too.
posted by shesdeadimalive at 6:00 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, that's what happens when you elect a president of an alarming skin color. All of a sudden, large chunks of the country go absolutely berzerk, and before long, you've got lawmakers legalizing rape, abolishing NPR and Amtrak, banning teachers' unions, and declaring total war on anything that could be seen as "socialist" or "un-American". That and sales of semi-automatic assault rifles going through the roof.
posted by acb at 6:02 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something just occurred to me - Many of you might not realize the scale of the evil capitalists involved in this issue, as it relates to Maine.

The single largest private employer in Maine, LL Bean, counts as a mere small-to-mid-sized family owned business on the national scale.

The unions in Maine don't protect poor downtrodden workers from the likes of George Pullman. They "protect" them from one of the guys with whom they likely have a beer Friday evening.

Except for the public sector.


me & my monkey : "LePage's two-year, $6.1 million budget proposal includes $200 million in tax breaks, including lowering the top income tax rate from 8.5 percent to 7.95 percent.

Good example. Do you know the scale at which that applies? $19,950. Yep, in Maine, $20G puts you in the highest tax bracket. Livin' large...


twirlip : Maine state employees contribute about 7.65% of their monthly paycheck towards their pensions, versus employer contribution rates in the neighborhood of 17.37% (a little lower for teachers, much higher for cops; see pp. 133-134 of this PDF). That's certainly a better deal for the employee than the 75-25 split on pla's 401k

You've misread one of those numbers, unless you made a typo (in which case, I'll concede that DAMN do I need to change jobs) - A 17.37% employer contribution means an 82.63% employee contribution.
posted by pla at 6:10 PM on March 23, 2011


Livin' large...

You're missing the point. Let's review your quote.

"Roads. Pensions. Moms. Pick two."

I don't see tax cuts in that list. But the governor chose tax cuts.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:39 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't vote for him last November, but I sure as hell will when he runs for reelection.
posted by pla at 6:35 PM


From an ex-pat to a current resident, you get the government that you deserve. Every time I get sentimental about Home, people like you are there to remind me to never look back. There's snow coming-- don't forget to shovel out the pickup bed or the rust will get worse and you'll never get a sticker.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wait: Yep, in Maine, $20G puts you in the highest tax bracket. Livin' large...

And from the article linked upthread: Officials say Lauren LePage's position is considered entry-level and is commensurate with her experience, work history and education. She will be paid about $41,000 a year..

Nice work, Dad LePage!
posted by armacy at 7:30 PM on March 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


You've misread one of those numbers, unless you made a typo (in which case, I'll concede that DAMN do I need to change jobs) - A 17.37% employer contribution means an 82.63% employee contribution.

Not a typo. Unless I've misunderstood, the numbers aren't two "halves" of a single contribution, they are separate contributions relative to income. If I am a Maine state employee and I make $1,000/month, I pay $76.50 into the pension fund and my employer contributes $173.70. That's a 30-70 employee-employer split, compared to 75-25 on your 401k.
posted by twirlip at 7:36 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Good example. Do you know the scale at which that applies? $19,950. Yep, in Maine, $20G puts you in the highest tax bracket. Livin' large..."

Wow, sure sounds like you need a more progressive tax rate schema in Maine there.
posted by klangklangston at 7:47 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, sure sounds like you need a more progressive tax rate schema in Maine there.

Your parody of Franco-American dialect is offensive and unwarranted.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:04 PM on March 23, 2011


The single largest private employer in Maine, LL Bean, counts as a mere small-to-mid-sized family owned business on the national scale.

The unions in Maine don't protect poor downtrodden workers from the likes of George Pullman. They "protect" them from one of the guys with whom they likely have a beer Friday evening.


LL Bean is a global pulls in roughly two billion dollars a year in revenues, and employs around 4000 people. It also made this year's "Sweatshop hall of shame" for using Uzbeki child laborers to harvest cut-rate cotton for its new "LL Bean Select" clothing line.

You're not helping your case by pretending that the CEO is tossing back PBRs with the kids who man the register, only to have the dastardly unions spoil the relationship.
posted by verb at 8:11 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Meh, bad edit. "Is a global" should be "Is a global corporation that."
posted by verb at 8:15 PM on March 23, 2011


BREAKING: Metafilter member Faze is being overtly contrarian, and this is the most charitable reading.

(c) 2006 (on the most charitable reading)

Seriously, dude. Take it to your local open mic night already.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:33 PM on March 23, 2011


As opposed to "us", as a group, getting a good deal

Why do you hate our CostCos?
posted by zippy at 8:38 PM on March 23, 2011


Shorter pla: Fuck you, got mine.

Thanks for sharing, sociopath.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:41 PM on March 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


BREAKING: Metafilter member Faze is being overtly contrarian, and this is the most charitable reading.

(c) 2006 (on the most charitable reading)

Seriously, dude. Take it to your local open mic night already.


WTF?

What does overly contrarian mean here? Really, I'm curious. Because this reads like bitchy snark over someone deviating from the "tolerant", progressive majority.
posted by BigSky at 8:51 PM on March 23, 2011


BigSky, for someone who bristles at the suggestion you have not been here long enough to internalize the mores of the place (as in tone, not content), it is pretty fucking rich of you to pretend that Faze has ever been anything more than (as suggested up-thread) performance art at best and a trollish faux-contrarian at best. Try harder, please.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:17 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, that is two bests. Because I am a nice fucking guy.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:19 PM on March 23, 2011


Alternately: please stop putting the ingenue in disingenuous, BigSky.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:40 PM on March 23, 2011


Because I am a nice fucking guy.

Obviously. Your remarks to pla, Faze and myself have been quite the demonstration. I hope you're drunk. And that's for your sake.
posted by BigSky at 9:47 PM on March 23, 2011


What does overly contrarian mean here? Really, I'm curious. Because this reads like bitchy snark over someone deviating from the "tolerant", progressive majority.

Faze always carefully crafts his comments to generate the maximum amount of outrage and then bails from the thread. It's actually pretty funny once you realize what he's doing.
posted by empath at 9:52 PM on March 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


In other governor-related news from Maine yesterday: “Windmill to be Installed in Paul LePage’s Throat.”
posted by LeLiLo at 9:54 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Faze always carefully crafts his comments to generate the maximum amount of outrage and then bails from the thread. It's actually pretty funny once you realize what he's doing.

That's an interesting take on his participation and not one that I share. While "moral privileges" is a vague and awkward phrase, on the whole his comment was moderate in tone and reasonable in content. Arguing back and forth deep into a thread is not for everyone.
posted by BigSky at 10:01 PM on March 23, 2011


While "moral privileges" is a vague and awkward phrase, on the whole his comment was moderate in tone and reasonable in content.

"The left does itself no favors by indulging its maudlin attachment to these thug cartelizers -- not with the business-free ruins of Detroit, Youngstown and Gary still smoldering in the wake of their passage."

I enjoy his contributions when they don't utterly derail the discussion -- he's a good writer and a colorful contrast to the local consensus. I'm happy to respond to him even though I know he probably won't stick around to engage in a conversation. But his comments here and in similar threads are anything but "moderate in tone."
posted by twirlip at 10:15 PM on March 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"on the whole his comment was moderate in tone and reasonable in content."

Sure, like Joe McCarthy was moderate and reasonable regarding Communism, or David Duke had moderate and reasonable opinions regarding integration.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 PM on March 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Congratulations, kids, you have now been successfully been trolled by Faze. Would you like to go back to the original topic?
posted by Errant at 1:43 AM on March 24, 2011


joe lisboa : Thanks for sharing, sociopath.

Just because I don't care about you in the least doesn't make me a sociopath.

Just because I believe in earning what I get doesn't mean I say "I got mine" to everyone else.

Just because I don't want the weakest link defining my pay rate doesn't make me "John Fuckin' Galt".


twirlip : Not a typo. Unless I've misunderstood, the numbers aren't two "halves" of a single contribution, they are separate contributions relative to income. If I am a Maine state employee and I make $1,000/month, I pay $76.50 into the pension fund and my employer contributes $173.70.

That interpretation would require that 7.65% + 17.37% equal 100%, which it does not. If you work as a Maine state employee, your employer, necessarily, contributes 100% minus what you contribute.
posted by pla at 3:43 AM on March 24, 2011


TheWhiteSkull: "Faze,

I think I can pretty much guess what you'd like to see replacing this mural
"

Politics aside, the murals (going by the depictions on the artist's website) are kind of shit, and that Tullio Crali is awesome, so that's not really the best argument.

This doesn't mean the Maine governor isn't an insane ass, of course.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:52 AM on March 24, 2011


Jesus Christ America is becoming more and more fascist on a daily basis.

Hey; folks: if you are sick of this shit and have the presence of mind to realize that just calling yourself the best country in the world doesn't make you the best country in the world, especially when global rankings are consistently pointing out where multiple others are doing far better, may I ask you one thing?

Come to Canada? America is the most religious, most conservative, most right wing first world country on the planet. Literally, the rest of the modern developed world is entirely more liberal and the United States is rapidly crumbling because of the monopoly the ruling class has on the views of the populace.

Come to Canada. We are like a cold version of California, but with free health care, fewer hippies, less crime and violence. Seriously, at least look into it.

If you have some skill, any useable skill, you can come here, work here, live here. It's far easier than you think, and if you want to, you can rather smoothly gain Canadian citizenship and all of the health benefits that come with it.

Don't go west. Go north. It's mutually beneficial, for us and you. It's a global world now- the idea that you can't leave a patch of land because of some tribal flag or your birth geography or a false nation state ideology you should feel obligated to defend when it doesn't care about you in the slightest- that's primitive and outdated.

Come here for a while; we can always use good people. Spend one year in Canada and you will spend a year living outside a bubble of isolation and rhetoric that becomes more and more apparent as nothing more than the false propaganda it is.

America is sadly becoming the fox news of the world. You have no obligation to let screaming hordes of morbidly obese scooter Republicans drag you down with them...
posted by Bushidoboy at 6:26 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's not quite as easy as that to gain Canadian citizenship. I've repeatedly looked into it. If it was, I'd have been a Canadian a long, long time ago.

Nowhere is perfect, but there are a number of places one hell of a lot better than here, that's for goddamn sure.
posted by perilous at 6:33 AM on March 24, 2011


That's an interesting take on [Faze's] participation and not one that I share.

Then I expect you haven't been reading closely enough. For nearly a decade now Faze has been showing up in threads to unload opinions which are always precisely 180° from the consensus on whatever topic, profound or superficial, is being discussed. Not that I'm knocking her (or him), necessarily; she's (or he's) sharp, occasionally even witty, and a better writer than most of Metafilter's self-fancied rebels and contrarians. Faze's dedication to her (his?) craft compels my admiration, if nothing else. But it's obviously a shtick—I like to think of it as an extended performance piece—and if you can't see that, well, email me, I have some Nigerian stocks I think will interest you.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:43 AM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Have you ever noticed how much Reagan actually kind of looks like Stalin? As a kid, the first time I ever saw a portrait of Stalin I did a little psychological spit-take, because the resemblance seemed so striking to me in those old official portraits of Stalin. It's still a little unnerving to me.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:54 AM on March 24, 2011


Forgive me if this link has already been posted - I didn't click every link in the thread - but the New York Times ran a piece on this yesterday with a nice multimedia interactive that gives a great view of the mural itself.

Some of the blogs I'm reading have pointed out that the charter of Maine's Department of Labor, like that of all states, is basically to support and protect labor and administer and enforce employment law and connect state-level work to the similar work done by the US Department of Labor. Only in a secondary way do Deparments of Labor serve business; they do that indirectly, by developing a healthy, fairly treated and properly skilled workforce, building worker skills and supports, and connecting potential employees with current business needs as well as working with business for the purpose of creating employee opportunity. They're about and for workers, not businesses. There's a reason they're not called the State Department of Business.

If some subset of business leaders feels uncomfortable with the art or atmosphere in a Department of Labor office, it's probably because they should.
posted by Miko at 7:24 AM on March 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


Apparently to really make it in this country you have to be a bed-wetting coward and unapologetic (if tremblingly clandestine) worshiper of the aristocracy. I'm so glad we have brave souls like this to keep our economy going in the midst of all these lazy, shiftless, drunken working proles.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:26 AM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


That interpretation would require that 7.65% + 17.37% equal 100%, which it does not. If you work as a Maine state employee, your employer, necessarily, contributes 100% minus what you contribute.

In this case. 7.65% + 17.37% does equal 100% - of the pension contribution.

It's the same as your 401k: your contribution + your employer's contribution = 100% of your 401k.

Surely you get that?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:47 AM on March 24, 2011



Come here for a while; we can always use good people. Spend one year in Canada and you will spend a year living outside a bubble of isolation and rhetoric that becomes more and more apparent as nothing more than the false propaganda it is.


We've got a bunch of anti union measures sitting in the stands, waiting for the Wisconsin green light. That gap between American and Canadian politics isn't as big as people seem to think these days. There's less insane talk show host rhetoric and obvious trolling from the right, and our news outlets are legally obliged not to lie, but the right is doing just fine up here.

I know the "Move to Canada" shit is a joke, so let's pretend I'm not over thinking it. But capitalism is global, and recent attacks on labor transcend borders. Sort shit out in your own work places and states, that's where the real fight is, and that's where the real victories will be won.
posted by Stagger Lee at 7:49 AM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


First Missouri, and now Governor LePage, seem to have a burning desire to get kids to work. Is there a reason?

One reason why employers prefer child laborers (besides the fact that you can pay them peanuts because most kids are thrilled just to be getting a paycheck) children are naive, inexperienced, and indoctrinated to be compliant to authority figures. You can sexually harass a 16-year-old in ways a 30-year-old won't tolerate. You can convince a 17-year-old that safety measures are unnecessary because 17-year-olds consider themselves invincible. You can consistently underpay children because they don't have the courage or the life skills necessary to negotiate an increase in pay.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:57 AM on March 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


One reason why employers prefer child laborers...
Small hands, to fit inside the machines.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:00 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


First Missouri, and now Governor LePage, seem to have a burning desire to get kids to work. Is there a reason?

I wondered that too. As many suspect, it looks like it comes from business owners complaining about the productivity they are losing because they can't legally force teenagers to work more than 20 hours a week. Probably this bothers them because it means they have to hire more individuals to cover the same number of hours, increasing their employer liability and tax burden and just taking more time to manage. It looks like we mainly have the hospitality industry to thank for the pressure - not a weak lobby in a state that is so largely dependent on its tourism economy.
The bill, filed by Sen. Debra Plowman, R-Hampden, was supported by industry groups including the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Innkeepers Association...
That link has some interesting details about the bill, which the Dept. of Labor actually apparently favored. In reading through it, I can find some things that might be a little more restrictive than I, personally, would like for a teenager's work schedule. The cap on no more than four hours a day is kind of tight, especially if it means, in practice, you have to work more separate shifts. That costs more in transportation, and let's say you work in a restaurant - it would be far easier on a teen's schedule to work six hours on a Saturday as opposed to three hours on each of two weeknights, which effectively just ruins study and sleep time. In a state like Maine, where there are a lot of poor families and anything you can earn as a teen might help you help the family heat the house, pay for stuff you need for school, or send you to college, I can see an argument for loosening the regulations on teens. When I was a teen worker in NJ the laws were much more loose than this proposed change - there were certainly weeks I worked more than 32 hours, especially during Christmas. I'm not saying it was a great idea to allow this but it didn't end the world. So the bill itself may not be any crazier than the already existing child labor regulations are, but it definitely appears to be business driven and driven by specific industries, not by a true need or a social welfare concern.
posted by Miko at 8:13 AM on March 24, 2011


One reason why employers prefer child laborers...
Small hands, to fit inside the machines.


Didn't you see Schindler's list? Their small hands fit inside the artillery shells.
posted by Nahum Tate at 8:25 AM on March 24, 2011


children are naive, inexperienced, and indoctrinated to be compliant to authority figures.

this is why the army targets 18 year olds for recruitment.
posted by edgeways at 8:59 AM on March 24, 2011


Just because I believe in earning what I get doesn't mean I say "I got mine" to everyone else.

***

Are you sure? Because (I'm being completely sincere) what else would it mean? No snark, I really want to know.
posted by Leta at 10:10 AM on March 24, 2011


Have you ever noticed how much Reagan actually kind of looks like Stalin? As a kid, the first time I ever saw a portrait of Stalin I did a little psychological spit-take, because the resemblance seemed so striking to me in those old official portraits of Stalin. It's still a little unnerving to me.

***

Not that I am in any way proud of feeling this way, but Old Joe was twice as handsome as the Gipper. Not remotely confusable, at least to me.

Note: the fact that I think that Joseph Stalin was stop-and-stare hot and Ronald Reagan was pretty boring looking does not constitute a political endorsement of either of these men.
posted by Leta at 10:19 AM on March 24, 2011


Plus, Stalin grew one hell of a moustache.
posted by hippybear at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2011


Just dropping in to tip my hat at faze and pla. Bravo. You managed to derail what would normally have been a short "BAHA look at the derp-y governer thread" into a 237 comment flame war.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:29 PM on March 24, 2011


So the consensus is that we should be fighting for private-sector pensions rather than removing public-sector pensions?

Seriously? You want your employer to promise to pay you something in 20 or 30 years? Are there actual private sector employees here who want that? Who want to go through what the employees of bankrupt airlines and car companies have gone through?
posted by Wood at 1:38 PM on March 24, 2011


Actually, because I'm a big ol' socialist, I think the government should pay everyone's pensions, thus freeing businesses of that obligation. Health care too.
posted by klangklangston at 2:02 PM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I hope you're drunk. And that's for your sake.

Stay classy, BigGuy.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:02 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I definitely appreciate the sense of that klangklangston. But I see a lot of people saying things like "you're just jealous 'cause you suck at negotiating" which suggests that there's some pro-private-pension under-current here.
posted by Wood at 2:13 PM on March 24, 2011


I'd be completely for a much stronger social pension program managed by the government. The deferment of payment would take the form of payroll taxes, just like Social Security today, only probably a much larger percentage of income.

The problems would be, 1) do we structure it as a "pay it forward" system like SS is currently structured, or do we make it literally you pay in, you take out, and let those who are currently later in their lives not fully participate in the program because they won't have enough years to pay in? and 2) how do we ensure that the government stewards the funds properly so we don't end up with Congress using the trust fund to justify using it as a marker to justify spending the government can't currently afford?

But yeah, I'd be behind full-population government pensions if a reasonable program were put forth. SS was only designed to keep the elderly from being completely destitute in their old age. But having a thriving retired class can only be good for the economy overall.
posted by hippybear at 2:54 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Here's an important clarification, however. Lots of early reports, including Seitz-Wald's initial post, said that this missive came in the form of a fax transmission. LePage's office now says that it was 'a letter, not a fax.' If true, there's no reason to be concerned about the fact that there wasn't a fax transmittal timestamp on the released document. However, this point from Seitz-Wald still stands: 'But more importantly, why is LePage making policy decisions based on a single [letter] from an anonymous "Secret Admirer"?'

It's a good question! Fortunately, it's one that we can test. LePage's office address is #1 State Hall Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333. So send him your letters! Demand that he flood the streets of Bangor with delicious chowder! Insist that the Whoopie Pie should not be Maine's state dessert. Order him to send the Maine Army National Guard to annex New Brunswick. If LePage stays true to form, pretty soon Maine will be up to its waist in bonkersauce.

(For best results, sign your letters, "Love, the Koch Brothers," obviously.) *
posted by ericb at 3:19 PM on March 24, 2011


Maine governor tries to disappear labor history: The artist and historian who worked on a mural showing Maine's labor past decry the plan to take down the artwork
posted by homunculus at 3:44 PM on March 24, 2011


A friend of mine has been snail-mailing LePage's office once a day with a picture of LePage standing in front of a podium bristling with great big cocks instead of microphones. You'd think given such a response to a fax, Mr. Governor would respond to real mail with an update to the decor of his press room.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:16 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I bet it wouldn't take too much money to commission a Maine artist to make a commemorative mural of the Gov., or to rent space on the side of a building off the Turnpike to paint it...
posted by Miko at 4:28 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Surely Stephen King can fight this asshole?

Stephen King spoke out against Gov. LePage and in support of labor unions even before the Governor's announcement about removing the mural.

Also, a lot of my Mainer friends have been posting this link to their Facebook accounts today in response to the Governer LePage's tomfoolery.
posted by TheCavorter at 5:04 PM on March 24, 2011


And by Governer I mean Governor.
posted by TheCavorter at 5:05 PM on March 24, 2011


LePage's office address is #1 State Hall Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333.

That's State House Station, not State Hall Station.
posted by JanetLand at 5:16 PM on March 24, 2011


And by Governer I mean Governor.

I made the same mistake.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 5:17 PM on March 24, 2011


That gap between American and Canadian politics isn't as big as people seem to think these days.

In BC our falsely-labelled "Liberal" party imposed a contract on its unions. And then reneged on those contracts. And imposed a bunch of crappier contracts on them.

Minnesota is chasing the pack. BC may be leading.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:14 PM on March 24, 2011


Come to think of it, Ontario may be leading. The bizarre things they've done to their public systems…
posted by five fresh fish at 7:15 PM on March 24, 2011


Leta : Are you sure? Because (I'm being completely sincere) what else would it mean? No snark, I really want to know.

No snark taken (or intended in this response). Just because I happen to feel content with my financial situation at the moment, doesn't mean I have a "fuck you, got mine" attitude about your situation. I wish you the best of luck in "making it" in life.

Now, if your getting ahead requires holding me back... Hey, may the best person win. But leave your 1.4 million friends inside for the fight, if you would.


thsmchnekllsfascists : You managed to derail what would normally have been a short "BAHA look at the derp-y governer thread"

If you really believe both sides of that statement, consider me proud to have added actual content to what you meant as nothing but a feces-flinging contest.


joe lisboa : Stay classy, BigGuy.

Say, Joe... Remind me again which member of this conversation has thrown F-bombs around like candy at a St. Patty's day parade? Oh, and BTW, the above use of said word comes straight as a quote from yourself, Dr. Classy.


hippybear : I'd be completely for a much stronger social pension program managed by the government

What, the current Ponzi-scheme we call Social "Security" hasn't bankrupted the country quickly enough for you? Don't worry, just wait for good ol' Dad to retire, and you can watch it all swirl down the drain.
posted by pla at 7:29 PM on March 24, 2011


What, the current Ponzi-scheme we call Social "Security" hasn't bankrupted the country quickly enough for you? Don't worry, just wait for good ol' Dad to retire, and you can watch it all swirl down the drain.

You just never quit, do you? You're like the energizer bunny or something, only you run on Objectivism rather than batteries.

I think I'll be filing you and your diatribes into the Performance Art category along with Faze and will not respond to you on any topic from now on.
posted by hippybear at 7:39 PM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


if your getting ahead requires holding me back.

Well, your getting ahead has held others back, so it's only fair.
posted by Miko at 7:43 PM on March 24, 2011


"What, the current Ponzi-scheme we call Social "Security" hasn't bankrupted the country quickly enough for you? Don't worry, just wait for good ol' Dad to retire, and you can watch it all swirl down the drain."

Uh, you do know that the reason Social Security is "insolvent" is because it's a convenient fund to borrow against, right? That's what Gore's "lockbox" (which Bush also pledged to honor, then worked to radically undermine) was all about.

I mean, betting that the working population is going to shrink is sort of a non-starter, and calling it a "Ponzi scheme" shows either an intentional ideological framing that's not supported by facts or a dire misunderstanding of what a Ponzi scheme is.
posted by klangklangston at 10:03 PM on March 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:19 AM on March 25, 2011


klangklangston : I mean, betting that the working population is going to shrink is sort of a non-starter

I absolutely agree. You would do well to stop mistaking me for a Republican.


and calling it a "Ponzi scheme" shows either an intentional ideological framing that's not supported by facts or a dire misunderstanding of what a Ponzi scheme is.

"A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money."

Named after Charles Ponzi, a contemporary of FDR. Funny, that.


Uh, you do know that the reason Social Security is "insolvent" is because it's a convenient fund to borrow against, right?

If you put a cookie jar within reach of the kids, don't expect any cookies in it tomorrow.


hippybear : You just never quit, do you? You're like the energizer bunny or something, only you run on Objectivism rather than batteries.

"I read that Social Security is starting to pay out more in benefits than it receives in taxes. Will that affect my Social Security benefits?
No. The current payout of Social Security benefits in excess of taxes will not have any impact on Social Security benefit payments for many years. Current trust fund reserves, along with future taxes, are expected to be sufficient for the full and timely payment of benefits until 2037."

Curiously guarded words from an organization tasked with inspiring confidence in its mission. And funny, but I won't get to retire until about a decade after that, yet you wonder at my outlook on it?


I think I'll be filing you and your diatribes into the Performance Art category along with Faze and will not respond to you on any topic from now on.

Your choice. Just know that I do mean what I say, and I don't speak as a lone kook, but as just one of millions of Americans sick of our nation's steady decline.
posted by pla at 3:40 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


pla : Your choice. Just know that I do mean what I say, and I don't speak as a lone kook, but as just one of millions of Americans sick of our nation's steady decline.

Heh, funny... Almost like a union. If I'd noticed before hitting "post", I could have added a good bit of snark there. ;)
posted by pla at 3:42 AM on March 25, 2011


"A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money."

Named after Charles Ponzi, a contemporary of FDR. Funny, that.


Now you're just being dense.

Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. It's a trust fund (specifically, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds). No different than any other trust fund. You know, like the trust funds that support a lot of people who hate Social Security.

And, surprise, it's solvent. And will be for at least another 30 years. SS has problems, but not the problems you think.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:09 AM on March 25, 2011


If you put a cookie jar within reach of the kids, don't expect any cookies in it tomorrow.

If corporations like GE are being given tax breaks to the extent that government pays them billions, how do we keep America solvent?

You call Social Security a Ponzi scheme, so how do you think that giving the likes of GE $3 billion gifts from the American taxpayer — GE being a corporation that is one of the most profitable in the world and not in any need of such government welfare — is any kind of sustainable practice in the long-term?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:25 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon so how do you think that giving the likes of GE $3 billion gifts from the American taxpayer [...] is any kind of sustainable practice in the long-term?

Erm, what?

Can you rephrase that in terms of something not completely nonsequitur to the discussion at hand? I can't even figure out how you might have meant that as a snarky aside about something I may have said in another topic recently.


Benny Andajetz : It's a trust fund [...] No different than any other trust fund.

You have that dangerously wrong. In a trust fund, you get investment income on your own contributions back. Even if the fund manager goes broke, your money still exists. With a Ponzi scheme, you get paid (if ever) from money paid in by more recent participants.

Which of those would you say the US SSA more closely resembles?
posted by pla at 7:27 AM on March 25, 2011


Even if the fund manager goes broke, your money still exists.

Not absolutely true. Trust funds are, generally, one of the lightest-traded and safest places for your money. But there's no guarantee that you can't lose your money.

SS is a trust fund with multiple beneficiaries. It also happens to get contributions from multiple contributors. The setup is correct and sustainable - and it has the backing of the full-faith-and-credit of the US government. That's considered a good thing by most investors.

The main problem with SS is not that it's not a viable program - it's that the funds are too easily divertable. That can be changed.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:02 AM on March 25, 2011


Benny Andajetz4 : Not absolutely true. Trust funds are, generally, one of the lightest-traded and safest places for your money. But there's no guarantee that you can't lose your money.

Don't play obtuse. "Losing your money" because of a bum market differs radically from losing your money because the fund manager used your money to fund their vacation in the Middle East while pretending to cover losses with new investors' money.

Bernie Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme. Lehman Brothers made poor investments for legitimate funds. If you had money in the former, you had nothing. If you had money in the latter, you still had it (after months of legal wrangling).

The US SSA takes money from new "investors" and pays it out to existing ones. That BY DEFINITION makes it a Ponzi scheme, whatever else you want to say about the trustworthyness of the US government.
posted by pla at 8:42 AM on March 25, 2011


The NYTimes article doesn't mention that the first plan was to paint over the mural. Then they realized it's on panels and can be moved. I am incensed that public art should be treated in such a cavalier manner. However, maybe, if they continue to busy themselves with such issues, they'll have less time to truly fuck things up. Not likely, but a girl can dream.
posted by theora55 at 8:48 AM on March 25, 2011


"Losing your money" because of a bum market

I didn't say because of a bum market.

Lehman Brothers made poor investments for legitimate funds.

?????!!

That BY DEFINITION makes it a Ponzi scheme

Whatever, man. One man's responsible government is another man's Ponzi scheme.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:59 AM on March 25, 2011


The US SSA takes money from new "investors" and pays it out to existing ones. That BY DEFINITION makes it a Ponzi scheme, whatever else you want to say about the trustworthyness of the US government.

It's providing income to retirees who might otherwise be living in abject poverty, and nobody is exposed to undue risk by being too heavily invested.
That BY DEFINITION makes it useful.
posted by rocket88 at 11:07 AM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


The US SSA takes money from new "investors" and pays it out to existing ones. That BY DEFINITION makes it a Ponzi scheme,

Only if you assume SS is an investment, which it isn't, so...
posted by MikeKD at 5:07 PM on March 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


pla: "Named after Charles Ponzi, a contemporary of FDR. Funny, that.
"

This is so completely ridiculous I think we can say that pla is not arguing in good faith.

Don't feed the troll.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:29 PM on March 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


sonascope, I didn't know that about Greenbelt. Must get down there and poke around.

Any chance of you doing a FPP comparing Greenbelt and Columbia? Could be a lot of fun.
posted by QIbHom at 8:05 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gov. LePage had the mural removed over the weekend.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:50 AM on March 28, 2011


>This is so completely ridiculous I think we can say that pla is not arguing in good faith.

A quick tour though the reading list for the serious student of Social Security confirms that he is not.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:54 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In this Bangor Daily News editorial, Le Page is compared to Ayatollah Khomeini.
posted by sulphur at 9:39 AM on March 29, 2011


Maine Gov. Paul LePage Regrets Stirring Up Labor Mural Controversy.
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on March 31, 2011


Suuuuuuure he regrets the controversy. Really, people should just let him do what he wants without all that "getting upset" stuff.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:22 PM on March 31, 2011


The Portland (ME) Museum of Art issues a statement.
posted by Miko at 4:26 PM on March 31, 2011


US Labor Dept to Gov. Lepage: You fucked up here, pal.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:02 PM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


That's a great article, Benny. What a dumb chump!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:33 PM on April 4, 2011


Benny, that's hilarious. And the Washington Post is now reporting that LePage may have actually driven up the market value of the mural. :D
Maine owns the mural, but the federal funding that contributed to its commission means that if LePage does not exhibit the art in an appropriate government building, he must reimburse the state’s unemployment trust fund account 63.39 percent of the “current fair market value,” according to the Labor Department. Given the painting’s new cultural significance, LePage may unintentionally have taken on the role of a political Larry Gagosian, the art dealer who has a knack for driving up prices. Tom Denenberg, the chief curator of the Portland Museum of Art, said that while he wouldn’t put a dollar amount on the mural’s appreciation, the governor’s focus “without a doubt dramatically increases its importance.” That complicates LePage’s efforts to take full control of the situation, and Bennett said the office is still “assessing” what to do with the work. She insisted that LePage wishes the mural no harm — he just finds it anti-business.

posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on April 14, 2011


"Anti-business." Just stop and ponder that for a moment. "Anti-business."

The mural isn't anti-business, unless you consider "abridging human rights" and "business" to be synonymous. And they don't have to be. Which is the focus of the work of the Department of Labor.
posted by Miko at 9:06 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's a sign that people like LePage have broken thinking. They lack an empathy centre in their brain, something like that.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 AM on April 14, 2011


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