There’s a whole lotta lootin’ goin’ on!

5 Jun

Thanks Dave, for sending me the following article from KCRW radio in Los Angeles:

https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/zocalos-connecting-california/joe-mathews-police-have-been-looting-for-years

This article makes a very important point that I never get around to making – public employees have become so expensive we can’t afford to hire enough of them to provide even the most essential services. Ever. 

Radio commentator Joe Mathews uses the police as an example, 

The escalating police pensions, along with lucrative disability benefits and costly retiree health coverage, crushed city budgets. They also contribute to the ironies of the current crisis.

One irony is that today’s young protestors will spend decades paying the unaffordable retirements of the cops who are using tear gas and rubber bullets against them. Another irony is that massive increases in police budgets haven’t produced more police. Most cities have fewer sworn officers than they did in 2008. That’s why police departments are now struggling to muster personnel to protect property from vandalism and looting. “

but it’s not just the cops. Since 2012 Chico city management has pared away lower-paid staffers while raising management salaries all around. They’ve laid off maintenance workers and deferred maintenance in favor of  raising management salaries. In 2017, City Manager Mark Orme added a Fund 457 to his contract – a type of 401K for public workers. In addition to over 80% of his CalPERS pension costs, the city of Chico gives Orme $10,000 + 4.5% of his $207,000/year salary via this slush fund.  

Hey, did I ever tell you guys – your city council members receive salaries and health insurance benefits? The salary might not seem like much – only $600/month ($720 for mayor).  But that’s the catch – they only pay 2% of their salary toward benefit packages of their choosing.  According to publicpay.gov, in 2018, their benefits packages ranged from a low of about $7200 (one member) to a high of nearly $20,000 (most members chose packages over $15,000/year). Do the math – 2% of a $7200 council salary is $144 of a $20,000 package. Well, duh, of course they choose the $20,000 package.  The taxpayers pay the rest.  

Okay, just tell me to stop – the city of Chico also has a very common clause in the contracts, including those made with city council members, that if they have insurance from another job, they can choose between that package and the city’s package, and if they choose the package they get with their job, the city will give them cash in lieu of health insurance. 

And stop right there, I already know what you’re going to ask – yes, council sets the terms of their own salaries and benefits, and of course can give themselves raises. 

So when you are staring buggy-eyed at your tv, watching the world gone mad, you better wonder what’s going on at city hall.  

8 Responses to “There’s a whole lotta lootin’ goin’ on!”

  1. bob June 5, 2020 at 6:26 pm #

    Nothing is too good for our government masters and their minions…

    • Juanita Sumner June 5, 2020 at 7:09 pm #

      Money is the worst kind of drug.

      • bob June 5, 2020 at 10:57 pm #

        Another thing people need to understand is that cops are under absolutely NO requirement or obligation to defend you or your property.

        They can watch you getting attacked (even murdered) or watch your property be destroyed or stolen and do absolutely nothing to stop it and there’s not thing one you can do about it.

        The US Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that law enforcement authorities are under no requirement to intervene to stop a criminal act.

        Cops do not exist to protect you. Cops exist to protect the government.

      • Juanita Sumner June 6, 2020 at 5:01 am #

        Boy do I get that! I’m reminded of “Gangs of New York,” a film that explains government corruption from a historical stand point.

      • bob June 6, 2020 at 12:55 pm #

        The US Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement agencies are not required to provide protection to the citizens who are forced to pay the police for their “services.”

        In the cases DeShaney vs. Winnebago and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the supreme court has ruled that police agencies are not obligated to provide protection of citizens. In other words, police are well within their rights to pick and choose when to intervene to protect the lives and property of others — even when a threat is apparent.

        In both of these court cases, clear and repeated threats were made against the safety of children — but government agencies chose to take no action.

        https://mises.org/power-market/police-have-no-duty-protect-you-federal-court-affirms-yet-again

      • bob June 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm #


        The US Supreme Court has made it clear that law enforcement agencies are not required to provide protection to the citizens who are forced to pay the police for their “services.”

        In the cases DeShaney vs. Winnebago and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the supreme court has ruled that police agencies are not obligated to provide protection of citizens. In other words, police are well within their rights to pick and choose when to intervene to protect the lives and property of others — even when a threat is apparent.

        In both of these court cases, clear and repeated threats were made against the safety of children — but government agencies chose to take no action.

        https://mises.org/power-market/police-have-no-duty-protect-you-federal-court-affirms-yet-again

      • bob June 6, 2020 at 12:59 pm #

        Because the cops are under no obligation to protect what are people supposed to do when they are threatened by looting, rioting and other violence?

        This will become commonplace:

  2. Juanita Sumner June 6, 2020 at 5:00 am #

    Thanks Jon! You are correct, city officials don’t want to talk about this stuff. In fact, I got that info about city council salaries because my council district representative was blowing me off about the contracts. I wanted to get her ear so I included her in my inquiry to the clerk. Wow, got an instant response, very defensive. She told me she thought she deserved those benefits, I’m not so sure. I see seven people sitting around an enormous sugar bowl with big spoons in their hands.

    Lawd, do they help themselves!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: