Sometimes, We Just Have to Agree to Agree

In the comments section of a recent post mentioning his book Rescuing Providence, after thanking Anchor Rising for the plug, Providence firefighter Michael Morse wrote…

I can’t say I agree with a lot of your views, but they are always interesting and thought provoking.
However, upon reading sections from his most recent Projo op-ed, like this one…
Our society once prided itself on rugged individualism, fairness and the ability to take care of ourselves, and our own. The tide has turned. People now expect to be taken care of.
…or this one…
Taxpayers pay for a service and deserve to get their money’s worth. It is a sad day when a proud, effective force must be diminished to cater to a growing population that takes government services for granted, and treats emergency vehicles as their private taxi service.
…I have to say that I can’t see much disagreement at the level of basic philosophical views!

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Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

I’ve not agreed with everything Mr. Morse has posted on this site, but have agreed with some too.
In either case, I’ve found his postings to impart an air of reasonableness and willingness to debate the other side on the merits. I can respect that, even if we don’t agree on a particular subject. Debating on the merits ends up with a “better product” overall, for sometimes the other side has a valid point.
As for the population he mentions, who better to discuss firsthand what is going on than he?
Few of us are unwilling to help those who are truly in need – and are doing their part to improve their situation.
What the welfare ideologues won’t recognize (or at least won’t admit publicly) is that they are hurting their stated mission by acting as apologists and enablers for those who won’t help themselves; to the degree that it is fair to posit that their real mission is not to alleviate poverty, but to perpetuate it (both to preserve their own income stream and because in their eyes the existence of “the poor” “validates” their world view that free market capitalism produces “victims”).

michael
13 years ago

While I think it true our basic philosophical views are similar, I’ve learned to be wary of hard-line conservatives.

anonymous
anonymous
13 years ago

Thanks for the great editorial, Michael. You’ve enlightened many of us.

Monique
13 years ago

“I’ve learned to be wary of hard-line conservatives.”
Let us know when you come across some …

michael
13 years ago

“Let us know when you come across some …”
Now that is pretty funny:)

Mike
Mike
13 years ago

It must be pointed out that while the pay, benefits and health care afforded teachers and state/municipal workers are obscene, those of police and fire are infinitely worse.
There is no reason why they can’t be moved to 401K’s with a retirement age of 55 as in most parts of the country.
The current “retire at 41 and get another government job for 20 more years and another pension” scheme is disgracefull. The Baby Mama’s pale in comparison.

Andrew
13 years ago

Mike,
Lumping people receiving compensation for services provided into the same category as people receiving welfare in its various forms isn’t valid, and isn’t going change anyone’s mind about the need to reform the system.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>It must be pointed out that while the pay, benefits and health care afforded teachers and state/municipal workers are obscene, those of police and fire are infinitely worse.
Defined benefit plans (pensions), though ideal from an employee’s standpoint, are dead in the private sector, and it’s past time that the public sector be brought into alignment.
There are compensation experts who can correlate job functions with prevailing market wages, and pay and benefits can be correlated so that public sector workers are compensated (pay and benefits) in accordance with their worth in the market.
One should not be unduly enriched for working in the public sector, nor should one’s work be compensated at a discount. From a compensation standpoint, “working for the state” should be just like working anywhere else.
Benchmarking compensation this way also means that we could eliminate the parasitic drag of union dues on the paychecks of public employees.
It would also reduce (though not eliminate) politicians’ use of “state jobs” as a patronage currency useful for their own enrichment.
Finally, while there are dangerous jobs in the private sector as well, I would be in favor of some sort of compensation premium being provided police / fire / EMT’s in recognition of the dangers they face and that to a large extent it’s not something one can physically perform until age 65.

michael
13 years ago

I wish I had the answers. I know I’m not getting rich by any means over here, but I also know a lot of people work as hard or harder than I do and are not doing as well. What worries me is the willingness of so many people to accept their lousy pay and lack of a decent healthcare plan and pension or 401 K as a fact of life.
We are being told in the private sector that good pay and benefits are “unsustainable,” yet Wall Street shows record gains, CEO’s make obscene salaries and business owners who run their business’s well make a very good living.
We can’t all own the buisinesses, or be the CEO’s, somebody has to do the work, that being the majority of us.
Fingers point to municipalities, whose employees still make a decent middle class living. Admittedly, some of the benefits are overly generous and will not be there for long. Instead of the private sector stepping up to the plate and sharing the wealth with the workers, rather than the shareholders the prevailing attitude is to tear down the haves, rather that lift the have nots.
Call me a socialist if you must, but I honestly believe we are being led to ruin by our own petty jealosy while big business laughs all the way to the bank.

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