Friday, August 13, 2010

Or Not!

Went over to Vegas yesterday to celebrate my wife's birthday.  Moderation was certainly NOT the name of the game as we were in around $150 a person before gratuity (can't call anything that size a 'tip').  It was very good and we got plenty to eat though the individual plates were pretty small.  The restaurant was Aureole in the Mandalay Bay.  Nice place, fine food and good service; can't ask for more than that. 

There is an item in the news about some ex-state workers in Colorado who are suing the state because the state is changing the rules of their retirement.  I don't know the whole story but apparently there was some kind of built-in cost-of-living adjustment written into the law which the state legislature has overturned.  It's hard for me to imagine a state legislature with the political courage to do such a thing (congratulations Colorado!!) but I believe it is going to have to be done in many more areas.  It is done in the private sector all the time.  Our health benefits keep getting smaller and being more expensive; that wasn't supposed to happen.  Our pension income has never gone up and I doubt if it ever will.  This economic hole needs to be attacked and ex-government workers cannot be exempt. 

Short post today; I'm off to cut up some meat for beef jerky.  I cut it and marinate it today and tomorrow it goes on the electric dehydrator for five or six hours.  I think I'll add a little cayenne to the marinade; make it just a bit hotter.  Have a good one.


Croft said...

Sounds like a very nice dinner. Happy Birthday to your wife!

I must disagree with you on the pension thing. No pension is given to the workers for free whether it is private or public sector. Workers negotiate wages and conditions and regularly trade one off for the other. No company or government has ever handed out anything on a silver platter to the workers.

A raise is negotiated, lets say 10% over three years. Now the workers have the choice of taking it all as cash or using some or all of it to "buy" benefits or conditions. They may collectively decide to take half as cash and put the rest into a pension plan, medical plan, longer vacation or whatever the heck they decide. The fact of the matter is that once the increase has been negotiated it becomes the workers money to spend as they please. If the workers give up years of raises to buy a pension and medical plan, then that plan belongs to the workers who paid for it with their own money. It does not belong to the employer, private or public.

What is happening now is the government or private employer is taking back conditions and benefits that were paid for by the workers through reduces wage increases. It is not the bosses money in those plans, it is the workers.

This is like you working to buy a Chevy and then two years later GM comes to your house and takes back the engine. It is no longer their engine, you paid for it, you had an agreement. Same as your pension. It is a future benefit paid for in advance by the worker and agreed to by the employer.

It is not only in the USA. My wife worked for the Provincial Government here in BC. She gave up thousands in wage increases to buy a good pension plan with medical and dental for life (or so she thought). It did not come cheap but that was what the workers wanted. She retired and all was well for a while. Then there was a change of government and the conservatives took over and started chipping away at the plan she (and others) had paid for with decades of hard earned money. First they canceled the lousy $2000 death benefit. Gone. The year after that we came home to a letter telling her they had arbitrarily canceled the dental plan and raised the deductible on the medical plan. The premium she was paying however did not go down.

This is nothing but theft.

Thanks for letting me vent!

boneman said...

well, two points, now.
First, I do get windy, whether by tongue or type, it's a terrible habit of mine.
I keep meaning to attend
but I don't know where they are located.
The thing is, my friend Lee is such a good guy...he greatly loves comments from real people (hates the spammers and such) and I feel bad if you bounded off without commenting just because I got too wordy.

Second point, another great way for "heat" and yet leaving it remain a delicacy for a simpler tongue?
If you start with a slab of meat, after an initial marinade is added, roll the meat in course pepper, and let that sit for a day or two. After slicing/dehydrating you'll find it carries an exquisite "bite" without burning the tongue of softer, more delicate folk you share it with.
Like, say your 25th anniversary wife.

JoeinVegas said...

Do you really need a dehydrator? Just put the stuff outside, 109 in the sun and no humidity should work on that stuff pretty fast.