Author Topic: Sequester vs. Complainypants  (Read 23397 times)

Matt K

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2013, 12:38:39 PM »
Can you imagine if we non government employees has protested when we got our pay cuts?

It happens fairly regularly, they call it a strike. The auto workers did it a number of times in the past twenty years. Private employees protest in various ways to pay cuts.

This thread is making me notice a troubling trend in the MMM forums - judgemental holier-than-thou comments. This is the Anti-mustachian wall of shame and comedy, so pointing out how others are failing (in our eyes) is the point of the sub forum. I get that.  But I'm troubled by the tone, not humourous, but contemptuous. Where's the friendliness, the optimism?

Some federal employee finds out she's about to get a 20%+ pay cut, and she doesn't know how to deal with it. She finds the MMM blog, starts reading it, loves it, and starts reading the forum. How welcome is she going to feel when she reads this thread?

Maybe some of the posters can say hand on heart that they've always been so good with money they never had to worry about a 20% pay cut. I can't. And despite our helpful but blunt recommendations being called 'punches-to-the-face', I'd rather this forum continue to feel as welcoming and inviting as when I joined.

mpbaker22

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2013, 12:50:37 PM »
I don't want to get too specific, and I won't talk about the actual policy, but ..
I work for a private defense contractor.  We've had several company memos flowed down about being sensitive to our customer's pay getting cut 20%.
Yesterday my manager said something to the effect of, "It'd be nice to have a day off for 6 months, but after a while it starts to hit your personal finances."
My thoughts were, "It'd be nice to not work period for 6 months, but after a few years, things would get tight." OR "It'd be nice to work 3-4 days a week permanently for my entire career"

When you start losing your house because of 6 months of only getting paid 80%, you know you aren't very intelligent.

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2013, 03:00:46 PM »
Matt, I agree and I hope you saw my many posts in this thread about hoping the sequester does not happen. I think there are too many down sides and they are cutting the wrong people.  The president and congress' pay should not be immune to sequestration.

I am avoiding a judgmental thread right now about automobiles. America does not have the infrastructure (especially huge high rises) to house everyone packed into cities where everyone walks/bikes. I have traveled to cities like that and spoken in detail with the people there about that life. It would take Americans generations to form that type of society. Then what happens to rural areas? The farms?  The burbs? I think many are afraid to join/post out of fear of judgement. However polite opinions help us learn from each other. Yesterday I was frustrated about the earned income credit and the discussion here helped me to learn more about it. I now have a better understanding of it at least.  I think opposing opinions help me.


ExBex

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2013, 03:08:00 PM »
Except you can shop around for cheaper bread whenever you want.  Once a federal employee picks their health insurance they are stuck with it until Open Season, which is once a year (around November I think).   So its not exactly an option for you to pay/not pay/switch to a cheaper one.

And what does any of that matter?  The bottom line is the bottom line, I  take home 27% less than I used to if this goes into effect, not 20% less. 

Math.
I guess I'm a cheap bastard.  I can't imagine finding cheaper food than what I already eat. 

But let me translate your post: "Boo-hoo-hoo.  Woah is me.  I voluntarily purchased a Cadillac health plan, knowing I wouldn't be able to change it for a year and knowing that sequester was already law.   Now they expect me to pay the full price even though I'm being bankrupted by a 10% annual furlough.  So I'm going to use mathematical trickery to spin the numbers for maximum self-pity and sympathy."  A little tongue-in-cheek, yes, but that's what I hear!

Now, compare this with poster-of-the-day, kendallf:
I think I'm going to take this as a challenge to get our spending under that net amount; that would give me close to the savings percentage I'm striving for over the next few years and it needs to be done anyway.
Kudos!  Seriously awesome perspective.

But I'm troubled by the tone, not humourous, but contemptuous. Where's the friendliness, the optimism?

Some federal employee finds out she's about to get a 20%+ pay cut, and she doesn't know how to deal with it. She finds the MMM blog, starts reading it, loves it, and starts reading the forum. How welcome is she going to feel when she reads this thread?
I'm new here, of course, and can only speak for myself, but I would hope she'd think: "Wow, these other feds are in the same boat, experiencing the same cuts.  How can they be so callous and care-free?!  This Mustachianism thing is really helping people cope with this shit better, and I need to learn more."  At that point, we can all laugh over mistakes, cry over temporary hardship, and share experiences to help her down the road to happiness.  Hugs and all that jazz.

I certainly don't feel contempt toward 67 yr old workers fearing the loss of a home over a 10% cut.  And it's certainly not humorous either.  Only very sad to me.  But it is a consequence of poor choices that people need to be shaken from. 

(Or maybe I've just spent too much time around no-BS military folks.)

sol

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2013, 05:34:42 PM »
I certainly don't feel contempt toward 67 yr old workers fearing the loss of a home over a 10% cut.  And it's certainly not humorous either.  Only very sad to me.  But it is a consequence of poor choices that people need to be shaken from. 

One of my most disgusting acquaintances makes this same argument about homeless drug addicts.  He claims nobody ends up living in their car, or in prostitution, or with HIV, or as an alcoholic, without making some seriously bad decisions in life.

And I think he's half right.  Yes, such people contributed to their own downfall, but I don't agree with him that our response to such situations shoud be punitive.  Don't arrest the drug addict living under a bridge, help him.  Get him warm and well fed, get him a mental health evaluation, get him cleaned up, and try to reintroduce him to the rest of society.  The libertarian response (aka "fuck those losers, they deserve it") is about the least compassionate, least caring, least Christian, least HUMAN response I can think of.

I feel the same way about your figurative 67 year old federal employee who is going to lose her home if she takes a 10% pay cut.  Yes, her situation is despicable, but she doesn't deserve our contempt for finding herself there.

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2013, 05:58:14 PM »
Some but not all Libertarians think that way! My church spent Thanksgiving under a bridge feeding the homeless. Yep under the bridge with them. I think a lot of people are so fed up with their party and the closet fiscal thing they can go to is that party. I personally just do the independent thing. Of course I've gotten criticized for that too LOL!

Guitarist

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2013, 08:04:35 PM »
There was a sequester protest yesterday in my state. Can you imagine if we non government employees has protested when we got our pay cuts? I think we would have been fired and possibly arrested because our numbers are small and spread out through various companies and time frames. These people for example can't protest: http://www.dailyjobcuts.com/

Anyway, I am so afraid this sequester is going to haunt us forever. It will divide and already terribly divided country.

I believe they usually call that union activity, not quite a strike though.

I do agree with some of the later comments. It SHOULDN'T be a problem to take a 20% paycut working 80% of the time, that is the sad part. Well, that and the point I made earlier.

unplugged

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2013, 09:20:01 PM »
We don't have unions or strikes down here. People would be fired on the spot for such activity. In fact here you can be fired at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all. Here when you get a pay cut or lay off you sulk home and deal with it. It doesn't make the news and protesting would mean you were alone on some property and you could get arrested LOL.

Again..... though I am actually against the sequester for many reasons. I think there are better ways to accomplish what they are trying to do.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 09:29:22 PM by unplugged »

dragoncar

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2013, 01:19:38 AM »
Can you imagine if we non government employees has protested when we got our pay cuts?

It happens fairly regularly, they call it a strike. The auto workers did it a number of times in the past twenty years. Private employees protest in various ways to pay cuts.

Yep, I don't have to imagine.  This happened with Hostess and they shut down.

Quote
This thread is making me notice a troubling trend in the MMM forums - judgemental holier-than-thou comments.

I call them judgy-pants

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2013, 05:43:01 AM »
We don't have unions or strikes down here. People would be fired on the spot for such activity. In fact here you can be fired at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all. Here when you get a pay cut or lay off you sulk home and deal with it. It doesn't make the news and protesting would mean you were alone on some property and you could get arrested LOL.

Again..... though I am actually against the sequester for many reasons. I think there are better ways to accomplish what they are trying to do.

24 states don't have unions aka right to work laws that prevent unions. Hostess was union.

adam

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2013, 07:14:57 AM »
Except you can shop around for cheaper bread whenever you want.  Once a federal employee picks their health insurance they are stuck with it until Open Season, which is once a year (around November I think).   So its not exactly an option for you to pay/not pay/switch to a cheaper one.

And what does any of that matter?  The bottom line is the bottom line, I  take home 27% less than I used to if this goes into effect, not 20% less. 

Math.
I guess I'm a cheap bastard.  I can't imagine finding cheaper food than what I already eat. 

But let me translate your post: "Boo-hoo-hoo.  Woah is me.  I voluntarily purchased a Cadillac health plan, knowing I wouldn't be able to change it for a year and knowing that sequester was already law.   Now they expect me to pay the full price even though I'm being bankrupted by a 10% annual furlough.  So I'm going to use mathematical trickery to spin the numbers for maximum self-pity and sympathy."  A little tongue-in-cheek, yes, but that's what I hear!

Now, compare this with poster-of-the-day, kendallf:
I think I'm going to take this as a challenge to get our spending under that net amount; that would give me close to the savings percentage I'm striving for over the next few years and it needs to be done anyway.
Kudos!  Seriously awesome perspective.

But I'm troubled by the tone, not humourous, but contemptuous. Where's the friendliness, the optimism?

Some federal employee finds out she's about to get a 20%+ pay cut, and she doesn't know how to deal with it. She finds the MMM blog, starts reading it, loves it, and starts reading the forum. How welcome is she going to feel when she reads this thread?
I'm new here, of course, and can only speak for myself, but I would hope she'd think: "Wow, these other feds are in the same boat, experiencing the same cuts.  How can they be so callous and care-free?!  This Mustachianism thing is really helping people cope with this shit better, and I need to learn more."  At that point, we can all laugh over mistakes, cry over temporary hardship, and share experiences to help her down the road to happiness.  Hugs and all that jazz.

I certainly don't feel contempt toward 67 yr old workers fearing the loss of a home over a 10% cut.  And it's certainly not humorous either.  Only very sad to me.  But it is a consequence of poor choices that people need to be shaken from. 

(Or maybe I've just spent too much time around no-BS military folks.)

I'm not going to argue with you until you can do basic math.

bo_knows

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2013, 07:32:28 AM »
I'm not going to argue with you until you can do basic math.

Hey now... he said it was math trickery.  Get it right.

azanon

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2013, 07:54:16 AM »
This discussion interests me because I'm a DoD Federal employee myself.  Here are a few questions/comments I have after reading this thread:

1.  100K is our average pay?? Really?  That'd be a mid GS-13 and certainly within my organization the average GS grade is well below that.  Now if you're including paid benefits, then maybe that is correct, but that'd be highly misleading to do that given that most individuals in higher-end private sector jobs wouldn't add up the value of their benefits package either and include that when they mentioned their salary for comparison.

2.  I'm a little surprised that I sensed more of a negative tone than a positive one from the federal workers who posted so far.  Being somewhat Mustachian myself, I'm getting rather excited about getting to work one less day a week, and am hardly disturbed at the prospects of being paid 20% less.  We're getting an equal trade of precious time for that 20%!   There is nothing more valuable than time to a true mustachian, right?!?   Since congress broke the ice on this whole 4-day-per-week workweek, I might see if I can build up the nerve to ask for that arrangement permanently!

3.  As for my organization specifically and my department, we're thinking we can absorb the 8% hit without the need for furloughs because we've been pretty conservative with our money so far.  However, as I understand it, we'd have to get special permission to not furlough regardless of whether we can afford not to do it.  Again, I'm a bit conflicted on that, because even though I'd welcome the extra time, I know many of my fellow non-mustachian co-workers would be devastated by the pay cut.

4.  I haven't seen one of those letters yet that show that it's an actual 26-30% pay cut if you include the cost of the benefits, but are they including the reduction in federal and state taxes in that?  For my specific combined state and federal marginal tax rate, that'd be 32% less tax on that extra money I would no longer owe.  So my point is, you may have fixed benefit expenses but your tax "expense" should go down quite a bit.     

the fixer

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2013, 03:00:55 PM »
I've been reading about how some of the unions want to allow employees to volunteer to get furloughed extra to help out those who would have more trouble affording it. This sounds like a really good idea if they can pull it off.

Gubmints

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2013, 04:57:40 PM »
OK, Fellow Feds -

I'm shifting this forum in to optimist mode using the Mustachian Optimist Ray Gun:

http://wp.me/p2Nyqo-8A


mc6

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2013, 05:23:27 PM »
Thanks for the shot with the optimist gun and the link. 

The lack of planning or sharing of the plan was causing some tension in my small corner of Uncle Sugar.  Found out today we are not furloughing, or rather, will only furlough as a last resort.  Some extra days off would be delicious but alas. 

sol

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2013, 05:41:18 PM »
I'm shifting this forum in to optimist mode using the Mustachian Optimist Ray Gun:

http://wp.me/p2Nyqo-8A

Not really a fan of most of that advice.  If you haven't already ditched your landline, cable, and contract phone bills then you're not really in financial hardship territory that this article targets.  As for taking a loan from your TSP or cutting back your contributions, those both COST you money, not save you money. 

ExBex

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2013, 07:56:04 PM »
I'm not going to argue with you until you can do basic math.
Hahaha!!!  As Plato said, "I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning."  In other words, you can have all the numbers in the world and still miss the logic.

One of my most disgusting acquaintances makes this same argument about homeless drug addicts.  He claims nobody ends up living in their car, or in prostitution, or with HIV, or as an alcoholic, without making some seriously bad decisions in life.
[...] The libertarian response (aka "fuck those losers, they deserve it") is about the least compassionate, least caring, least Christian, least HUMAN response I can think of.
I think this is a misperception wrongly attributed to libertarians, who are largely honorable Christians and Humanists.  The libertarian response is simply that charity is the appropriate place for that loving response, not government.  (But thank you for associating me with the "most disgusting" people you know!)
 

ExBex

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2013, 08:34:47 PM »
1.  100K is our average pay?? Really?  That'd be a mid GS-13 and certainly within my organization the average GS grade is well below that. 
Yeah, this is my fault, and we shouldn't leave the citizenry with the perception that this is across-the-board.  In my particular organization, it is true.  I was just looking at our org chart yesterday, and we're 90% 13's and higher.  For project budgeting when actual personnel aren't known yet, we use a GS-13 as the standard.  (The other interesting item in that chart is that for every one govt employee, we have 3 contractor employees paid from our budget!  So, correcting another perception problem, if looking for the big money, don't focus only on govt payroll.)

2.  I'm a little surprised that I sensed more of a negative tone than a positive one from the federal workers who posted so far.  Being somewhat Mustachian myself, I'm getting rather excited about getting to work one less day a week, and am hardly disturbed at the prospects of being paid 20% less.  We're getting an equal trade of precious time for that 20%!   There is nothing more valuable than time to a true mustachian, right?!?   Since congress broke the ice on this whole 4-day-per-week workweek, I might see if I can build up the nerve to ask for that arrangement permanently!
Me too!  The "equal trade" part is key.  Most part-time work pays much less per hour than full-time, which sucks.  So you get stuck in full-time.  It'd be great if this opens the door on flexibility in hours.  I think 40 hrs/wk is un-natural!  (Unfortunately, I think my slot is going to be exempt from the furlough.  I just can't win.)

bo_knows

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Re: Sequester vs. Complainypants
« Reply #69 on: March 07, 2013, 10:36:57 AM »
The agency I work for, as a contractor, announced this week that they wouldn't be doing furloughs.  I'm not sure how that's even possible, but there you go.