Income tax in the United States is "graduated." People who earn less money pay a lower percentage on that amount. As you earn more, you pay a higher percent on the greater amounts of income. The recent tax cuts reduced the percentage of taxes on higher incomes, making the tax flatter.
There has been a lot of misinformation in the news lately about how expensive government is and in particular how the private sector can do it for less. This is just a smokescreen put forth to let the private sector undermine wages, working conditions and unions, not just in the government sector but in the private sector as well.
The most common method of transferring government functions or assets to the private sector is through contracting out agreements. However, there are several other methods, including vouchers, grants, franchises, deregulation, volunteerism, service shedding, public/private partnerships, asset sales and private donations.
Contracting out may have some short-term cost benefit because of low salaries, lack of benefits, and creative accounting tactics used by the private sector. But eventually, after the government body lays off permanent employees and liquidates solid assets, the costs rise. Further, because public input has been eliminated and workers are underpaid, the quality of services gradually declines.
In the crosshairs
California government services currently targeted for privatization include mental health, general services, administrative, schools, printing, social services, health care, transportation and corrections.
Major concerns about privatization include not only increased costs, decline in the quality of services and lack of public input, but also discrimination based on age, race and gender, payoffs, kickbacks, conflict of interest, price fixing, collusive bidding, and other forms of corruption. All these problems existed before the civil service was established and will slowly sneak back into government. In addition, the isolation of the disadvantaged will increase.
Government Code section 19130(b) allows the state of California to contract out jobs to the private sector under certain conditions. Areas where contracting out is allowed include state functions exempt from civil service under the state constitution; services not available through the civil service system; new state functions mandated by the legislature; incidental, temporary, urgent or occasional services; and training services which cannot be performed by the state. Union representatives have discovered during contract negotiations that management is checking inappropriate boxes to avoid being detected in illegal contracting out of state jobs.
What can we expect?
If public sector jobs are privatized, what can we expect? We know that the private sector is also contracting out jobs, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. There is an all-out attack on the working people of this country, as corporations are not only trying to compete in the global market but continue to increase their profits.
For example, Kmart laid off older employees in order to avoid paying retirement benefits. Walmart hired part-time employees who were not needed, then fired full-time employees to avoid paying benefits and higher wages. They still provide no health care package. Target bought out a union store and eliminated the union employees so they could pay lower wages. Bank of America, Ross Dress-for-Less, Burger King and others hire part-time employees in order to avoid providing benefits for their employees. We are witnessing the complete collapse of job security in this country.
The fact is, if you work for a living in America, you are outproducing other workers around the world, but you are being paid less in dollars adjusted for inflation than you were twenty years ago. In many cases, you are being paid less in actual dollars.
You need to rethink what is happening to your life and the lives of your parents and children. Your parents may be living below the poverty line and your children may see a return to the sweat shop conditions of past generations.
This article apeared in issue #17 of the Partisan (august 2003). It was written by C.T. Weber.
- You have the right to cast a ballot if you are a valid registered voter. A valid registered voter means a United States citizen who is a resident in this state, who is at least 18 years of age and not in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony, and who is registered to vote at his or her current residence address.
- You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if your name is not listed on the voting rolls.
- You have the right to cast a ballot if you are present and in line at the polling place prior to the close of the polls.
- You have the right to cast a secret ballot free from intimidation.
- You have the right to receive a new ballot if, prior to casting your ballot, you believe you made a mistake. If at any time before you finally cast your ballot, you feel you have made a mistake, you have the right to exchange the spoiled ballot for a new ballot. Vote-by-mail voters may also request and receive a new ballot if they return their spoiled ballot to an elections official prior to the closing of the polls on election day.
- You have the right to receive assistance in casting your ballot, if you are unable to vote without assistance.
- You have the right to return a completed vote-by-mail ballot to any precinct in the county.
- You have the right to election materials in another language, if there are sufficient residents in your precinct to warrant production.
- You have the right to ask questions about election procedures and observe the election process. You have the right to ask questions of the precinct board and elections officials regarding election procedures and to receive an answer or be directed to the appropriate official for an answer. However, if persistent questioning disrupts the execution of their duties, the board or election officials may discontinue responding to questions.
- You have the right to report any illegal or fraudulent activity to a local elections official or to the Secretary of State’s Office.
This is a 59 minute podcast of a forum held on November 22, 2008 in Venice, California - part of a new project of the Venice Peace and Freedom Party.
Proposition 1A - Opposed
Proposition 1B - Opposed
Proposition 1C - Opposed
Proposition 1D - Opposed
Proposition 1E - Opposed
Proposition 1F - Opposed
Adele and Oneil Cannon
Their commitment and dedication to the struggle for justice and socialism made them fixtures on the Left in the Los Angeles area, and California, for many decades.
Adele passed away on August 12th, 2009 at 8:41 p.m.
Primary Election June 8, 2010The following candidates are in contested primaries on the June Primary ballot.
Stewart A. Alexander
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Leonard J. Martin
Note: Superintendent of Public Instruction is nominally a "non-partisan" office.
The following candidates will appear on the Primary ballot without opposition. Please vote for them to show your support. They will all appear on the November General Election ballot as nominees of the Peace and Freedom Party.
U.S. Senate: Marsha Feinland
Lt. Governor: C.T. Weber
Insurance Commissioner: Dina Josephine Padilla
Treasurer: Debra L. Reiger
Secretary of State: Marylou Cabral
Attorney General: Robert J. Evans
Controller: Karen Martinez
Board of Equalization:
1st District: Sherill Borg
2nd District: Toby Mitchell-Sawyer
3rd District: Mary Lou Finley
4th District: Nancy Lawrence
3rd District: Mike Roskey
5th District: Gerald Allen Frink
6th District: Eugene E. Ruyle
8th District: Gloria E. La Riva
9th District: Larry Allen
30th District: Richard R. Castaldo
50th District: Miriam E. Clark
6th District: Lanric Hyland
26th District: Cindy Varela Henderson
4th District: Daniel D. Frederick
5th District: Elizabeth Martinez
9th District: Daniel A. Costa
10th District: Albert R. Troyer
State and County Central Committees:
For a list of Central Committee candidates in each county, see this page.