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Old 04-11-2013, 07:44 AM  
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Conservatives find Government does help them earn money

Wyoming locals pick up tab for Yellowstone snowplowing
Sequester cuts idled federal plows and threatened the park's opening day. Even though most here favor limited government, this isn't quite what they had in mind.


By Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
April 6, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
CODY, Wyo. — For many, the federal budget ax that fell last month has meant a few nicks here and there. For Joe Kondelis, it's sliced a lot deeper.

After stewing for days, the 53-year-old opened his wallet and delivered a $2,000 check to the Cody Chamber of Commerce to help pay for snowplowing at Yellowstone National Park. It wasn't easy. Cash is scarce once Yellowstone shuts down for the winter.

But after automatic spending cuts idled the National Park Service plows and threatened to delay opening day for two weeks — two weeks that could cost his beer distributorship $100,000 in sales — Kondelis felt he had no choice.

"You live and die by the tourist market," he said beneath a framed picture of the Budweiser logo, which loomed overhead like a portrait of the family patriarch.

Fearing an economic disaster — people planning their vacations sometimes hear just the words "closed" and "Yellowstone" and there goes the whole summer — the chambers in Cody and Jackson Hole raised $170,000 to pay for the state to step in and fire up its snowplows. The work began last week and, barring a major storm, the park's east and south entrances will open on time in early May.

The story could end there, a happy tale of small-town pluck. Many in Cody are proud of how the community of fewer than 10,000 rallied to save the tourist season from sequestration, as the $85 billion in cuts are called.

"It kicked us right in the pants," said Mike Darby, a partner in the Irma Hotel, which was built in 1902 by "Buffalo Bill" Cody himself. "And thank God we rose up and kicked them back. We did."

But a weave of contradictions surrounds the episode, reflecting the tension between self-sufficiency and codependence, between these Westerners' stated desire for a smaller, more limited government and reliance on the services that people have come to expect from far off, little-loved Washington, D.C.

"We all want to cut the deficit but don't want to sacrifice the lifestyle that money makes possible," said Warren Murphy, a retired clergyman and one of the few avowed progressives in this deeply conservative part of a deeply conservative state. "Sequester is just a small sample of what you get."

Dan Wenk, the superintendent of Yellowstone, is the face of the federal government around Cody and his popularity underscores the truth that it's harder to dislike a neighbor than some faceless bureaucrat inside the Beltway. When the cuts hit, Wenk had to slice $1.75 million from his $35-million budget and do it with the fiscal year just about half-over.

He trimmed his payroll. He scaled back travel and training programs. Finally, he decided to idle the Park Service snowplows for two weeks, saving $30,000 a day and leaving it to the spring thaw to help clear more than 300 miles of roadway. The idea, Wenk said, was to ensure there was money left to keep Yellowstone open throughout the peak summer months. "We cut the budget in a way we thought was absolutely the least impactful," he said.

Locals were nearly unanimous in their praise for Wenk and the way he worked with community leaders and state officials to find a solution that got the plows rolling. It is a lesson, they said, that Washington should heed.

"We just talked it through," said Claudia Wade, marketing director for the county tourism office. "Everybody came to the table and said, 'How can we work this out?' Not, "Whose fault is it?'"

There are limits, however, to that goodwill. Wade and others insist the fundraising drive, or Park Service bailout, or whatever people choose to call it, was a one-time thing. "It was an important point that we'd only do it this time," said Scott Balyo, executive director of the Cody chamber.

Even so, many worry about precedent. Kondelis, who works alongside his wife and two sons in their beverage business, explained why he contributed: "I believe in this community and we need to step forward like everybody else. But my biggest issue was … the politics isn't going to change. So next year, they're going to say, 'Oh, you guys figured it out, you guys came to the table, so this cut was good.'"

The relationship between Washington and the West has always been fraught. The region's proud creed of independence ignores the crucial role the federal government plays in its prosperity. At the same time, few things grate more than the presumption that a distant landlord can better manage the land than the people who live on it. (The federal government controls about half of the acreage in Wyoming.)

People in Cody are used to dealing with natural disasters, like the wildfires or heavy snow that occasionally close Yellowstone and sucker-punch the economy. But this crisis felt artificial, man-made, and thus avoidable.

It's not that residents don't want to reduce the deficit. Washington needs "to grow the economy, not the government," said Jay Linderman, who owns an Italian restaurant on Cody's main drag and grudgingly gave $200 to pay for plowing. What rankles locals is the indiscriminate nature of the sequester, which cut programs across the board without weighing individual merits.

But therein lies the perennial rub: Cuts that are welcomed in the abstract are not always appreciated when they hit home. And everything the government does, however small, touches somebody.

"If it's a national park, it shouldn't be our burden to operate," said Bob Brandt, manager of the Cody Hotel, which sits on the main highway to Yellowstone, about 50 miles away. His business contributed $2,500 to the snowplow fund.

If not entitlement, locals at least share a feeling that Washington has obligations it mustn't slough off, even as spending declines.

"You pay your taxes to get certain services," said Bruce Eldredge, executive director of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, a world-class museum in the center of town, which delivered a $10,000 check to the chamber. "We would, I think, probably argue as a community that we pay our federal taxes to make sure the park is open at a specific time."

For his part, Wenk assumes the cuts made under sequester represent "the new normal." Yellowstone's budget has been shrinking for the last few years, even as the number of visitors has grown. Looking ahead to next year, Wenk said everything — including the snowplowing schedule — is on the table.

The state, meantime, has seized on the fundraising publicity to get an early jump on its summer tourism campaign. As a crowd cheered and cameras recorded the scene last week, big yellow tractors began chewing through the snow, bearing placards with the promotional theme "Yellowstone or Bust."

From: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,5412062.story

/So I'm supposed to feel bad for the guy who had to spend $2,000 of his own money to help guarantee $100,000 in sales? Yeah, it sure does suck that the Federal Government wasn't there to help out that guys profit margin with my money.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:48 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Its crazy to assume that any liberal when speaking on this subject wants D.C. to plan local communities. What evidence do you have of even believing such a notion? When nothing of the sort has been said, would it not be best to assume that we are talking about the current way all this is funded? Local planning except for state roads and federal highways.
No one is assuming anything like that. I'm explaining myself to chiefzilla in that post.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:01 AM   #62
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If you would to place all the positive benefits of public infrastructure and all the negative benefits on a scale, which do you think would weigh more? I don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There have been far more positive benefits to infrastructure that bad.
It's meaningless to lump all infrastructure projects into a pile and ask whether they've collectively been a positive or a negative. I would hope that they've been a positive, but that doesn't mean we should launch a new $trillion dollar infrastructure initiative under the current administration. More is not always better. Individual projects must be assessed on their own merits. The Obama administration has already proven itself to be untrustworthy when it comes to infrastructure spending.

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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
And I don't even understand what you are saying in that last paragraph. "As for MO roads (and roads in many other states), I agree that there is work to be done. But the manner of getting that work done is important too. There are tradeoffs to be made between going on a crash program involving hiring a bunch of new people in order to get the work done rapidly versus a slower paced program that utilizes the people who already do this for a living and the equipment already in place." What does this even mean?
It means that throwing money at a problem as fast as you can isn't always the solution. There's a rule of thumb in project management circles that is "Cheap, Fast, or Good, pick 2". That means that you typically have to sacrifice at least one of those things to achieve one or both of the others. We might be able to improve MO infrastructure Fast and Good, but it's going to be a lot more expensive than if we did it slower or accepted lower quality results. In the real world example of MO infrastructure, one of the consequences of trying to do it Fast is going to be that we expand the construction workforce. That might be good in the short term, but those aren't going to be permanent jobs and in the long run we won't have done much to address the employment picture by creating this "artificial" demand and we will have payed a lot more for the upgrades than we had to. In other words, there are tradeoffs. You can't have it all.

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IF you are talking about road construction, you do know that our state has a strong union that builds them, that this union requires them to go to a trade school to learn how to build roads and that these workers are ready to go right now.
Maybe we'd have better roads if we didn't have such a strong union controlling the workers. Have we investigated this possibility?
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #63
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Maybe we'd have better roads if we didn't have such a strong union controlling the workers. Have we investigated this possibility?
Controlling workers? you know how I know you only have right wing talking points about unions? Besides the fact that you are wrong. Here is just one example for why responsible companies would choose to hire union. And if companies wouldn't hire unions, construction unions wouldn't exist.

"In construction, using a union workforce is one of the best ways to reduce accidents, injuries, downtime, and workers' compensation costs. Several recent studies demonstrate that skilled Laborers and other unionized construction workers are safer, involved in fewer accidents, and suffer less loss-time injuries than their nonunion counterparts.

In Baltimore, Maryland, researchers found that "union construction workers are more experienced, have more stable employment, and have been more exposed to safety training than nonunion workers." The researchers also found that unionized workers had higher safety performance scores than their non-union counterparts, and that workers at non-union work sites had less access to formal safety training and fewer safety meetings.2

In Washington state, researchers established a link between the kind of health and safety training that every Construction Craft Laborer receives and reduced workers' compensation claims. They concluded that "participation in health and safety training reduced workers' compensation claims by 34 percent."

A recent analysis of trench fatality data maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed that the non-union sector's fatality rates were twice as high as those of union trench workers and their employers (11.8 fatalities per million workers versus 5.7 per million).4 And the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and its contractors are working together to reduce that fatality rate even further.

A safe workforce lowers costs, reduces accidents, and increases productivity. Whether measured in higher safety scores, lower insurance rates, or the simple act of a worker returning to his/her family in one piece, safety is good for business. And statistics show that Construction Craft Laborers and other unionized workers make up the safest workforce in the industry."

http://www.midwestlecet.org/unionsafety.htm
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:30 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post



It means that throwing money at a problem as fast as you can isn't always the solution. There's a rule of thumb in project management circles that is "Cheap, Fast, or Good, pick 2". That means that you typically have to sacrifice at least one of those things to achieve one or both of the others. We might be able to improve MO infrastructure Fast and Good, but it's going to be a lot more expensive than if we did it slower or accepted lower quality results. In the real world example of MO infrastructure, one of the consequences of trying to do it Fast is going to be that we expand the construction workforce. That might be good in the short term, but those aren't going to be permanent jobs and in the long run we won't have done much to address the employment picture by creating this "artificial" demand and we will have payed a lot more for the upgrades than we had to. In other words, there are tradeoffs. You can't have it all.

Why do you assume anyone wants it fast? Or throwing money at the problem. You are being hyperbolic.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:02 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Controlling workers? you know how I know you only have right wing talking points about unions? Besides the fact that you are wrong. Here is just one example for why responsible companies would choose to hire union. And if companies wouldn't hire unions, construction unions wouldn't exist.

"In construction, using a union workforce is one of the best ways to reduce accidents, injuries, downtime, and workers' compensation costs. Several recent studies demonstrate that skilled Laborers and other unionized construction workers are safer, involved in fewer accidents, and suffer less loss-time injuries than their nonunion counterparts.

In Baltimore, Maryland, researchers found that "union construction workers are more experienced, have more stable employment, and have been more exposed to safety training than nonunion workers." The researchers also found that unionized workers had higher safety performance scores than their non-union counterparts, and that workers at non-union work sites had less access to formal safety training and fewer safety meetings.2

In Washington state, researchers established a link between the kind of health and safety training that every Construction Craft Laborer receives and reduced workers' compensation claims. They concluded that "participation in health and safety training reduced workers' compensation claims by 34 percent."

A recent analysis of trench fatality data maintained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed that the non-union sector's fatality rates were twice as high as those of union trench workers and their employers (11.8 fatalities per million workers versus 5.7 per million).4 And the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and its contractors are working together to reduce that fatality rate even further.

A safe workforce lowers costs, reduces accidents, and increases productivity. Whether measured in higher safety scores, lower insurance rates, or the simple act of a worker returning to his/her family in one piece, safety is good for business. And statistics show that Construction Craft Laborers and other unionized workers make up the safest workforce in the industry."

http://www.midwestlecet.org/unionsafety.htm
Mr. Cut&Paste accuses me of only having talking points? That's pretty rich.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:05 AM   #66
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Why do you assume anyone wants it fast? Or throwing money at the problem. You are being hyperbolic.
The idea behind a stimulus is to surge money into the system. You don't throw a bunch of money at the problem but then tell the guys doing the work to take their time.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:23 AM   #67
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The idea behind a stimulus is to surge money into the system. You don't throw a bunch of money at the problem but then tell the guys doing the work to take their time.
Yeah it's not like we heard how dire the situation was and if we didn't get a giant stimulus the nation would be teetering on collapse or anything.

But you're being hyperbolic.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #68
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Wow, I can't even imagine the horrible implications of roads competing against each other. Or businesses somehow deciding what infrastructure is in the best public interest for the city versus what will benefit the public at large. Or that we should trust corporations and businesses to invest in this planning. Or that we should allow corporations with bigger pockets even MORE competitive advantage over small businesses because they can essentially control what roads and transportation lead to their business or even destruct roads that lead to a competitor.
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Then you have a big gap in knowledge on economic history. Private roads did benefit the public at large. Read How Capitalism Saved America. It will fill in those gaps.

Hey Chiefzilla -- try to remember that you're talking to a complete whacko. She seriously, honestly, thinks that we should pattern our military after that of Switzerland -- which means a well armed militia. Eliminate the military altogether and just have citizens have shotguns in the shed, or whatever. She thinks that that militia is why Nazi Germany didn't invade them during WWII.

Because she doesn't rant and froth at the lips like some other whacko posters I could mention, it can be easy to forget, but BEP is completely crazy in her own way.

Not that you shouldn't debate with her of course, but don't want you to lose sight of the fact that she's a flake. FWIW.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:17 PM   #69
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Mr. Cut&Paste accuses me of only having talking points? That's pretty rich.
Amazing job at a rebuttal.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:26 PM   #70
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Amazing job at a rebuttal.
I don't discount the role of Unions in this country, but living in a right to work state and having worked in the construction industry for 10 years at one point in my life, I can say without a doubt that union vs. non union has absolutely no bearing on "the best ways to reduce accidents, injuries, downtime, and workers' compensation costs." And your post reads like propaganda from the website of the union.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:37 PM   #71
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Amazing job at a rebuttal.
You literally followed your accusation of me relying on talking points with a cut and paste defense of unions directly from a union website. There's nothing either of us can say about the merits here that's as noteworthy as that.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:09 AM   #72
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You literally followed your accusation of me relying on talking points with a cut and paste defense of unions directly from a union website. There's nothing either of us can say about the merits here that's as noteworthy as that.
You say "Unions control workers." with no evidence. That is a talking point. You also said unions were a reason for MO infrastructure issues with no evidence. Talking Point.

I find evidence to support my view that unions help foster a safer work place as a reason for construction unions. That is called backing up what you say.

Whining about copy and pasting is something lazy people do who don't want to find their own evidence.

Listen, nothing we can say to each other is new. It has all been said. All we do when talking politics is enter into a age old conversation, speak our mind, then exit while the conversation continues. Failure to accept what has already been said is intellectually dishonest and lazy. Failure to support your argument weakens it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #73
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I don't discount the role of Unions in this country, but living in a right to work state and having worked in the construction industry for 10 years at one point in my life, I can say without a doubt that union vs. non union has absolutely no bearing on "the best ways to reduce accidents, injuries, downtime, and workers' compensation costs." And your post reads like propaganda from the website of the union.
"A recently published, ten-year statistical analysis* of fatalities in trench work provides impressive evidence that union members work far more safely than non-union workers.

Between 1985 and 1995, 522 workers were killed in trench-related mishaps. Of these, 60 died working for union firms while 462 died in non-union employment The actual fatality rates (non-union companies employed about four times more workers than union firms) were 5.71 per million employees for union firms and 11.80 per million for non-union."

http://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm?obje...19E73A76BA89BE

More Studies:

http://acpp.info/2009/07/29/research...obs-are-safer/

http://gothamist.com/2006/11/22/nyc_constructio.php
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #74
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You say "Unions control workers." with no evidence. That is a talking point. You also said unions were a reason for MO infrastructure issues with no evidence. Talking Point.
No, I raised a possibility and asked if you had given it any consideration.

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I find evidence to support my view that unions help foster a safer work place as a reason for construction unions. That is called backing up what you say.
No, you cut and pasted a prepared set of talking points.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:09 AM   #75
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
Bless FSU!
 
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Well, if some places are union places that require membership then that is controlling workers.
Forced membership is just control.
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“The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.” ~ James Madison, Father of the Constitution

“We do not believe in aggressive or preventive war. Such war is the weapon of dictators, not of free democratic countries like the United States.”~ Truman, Sept 1, 1950
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BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.BucEyedPea is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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