Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Mar 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Great Debate

altSANTA CRUZ > Local debate explores whether public employees should be paid less

Santa Cruz has entered the debate on California’s budget deficits, and the Santa Barbara-based California Center for Public Policy (CCPP) is proposing a solution that some people may not agree with: reducing public employee compensation.

The CCPP, a libertarian think tank, organized a “Great Debate” on the subject as part of a statewide campaign to draw attention to the issue. The debate was held at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History on Tuesday, March 13 and was the first of seven debates in cities across California.


The debate opened with 20-minute presentations from both sides of the issue, with 10-minute rebuttals coming from each side. Once the debaters had said their piece, they each fielded questions from the audience.

Lanny Ebenstein, president of the CCPP and an economics lecturer at UC Santa Barbara, argued the organization’s view that public employees are paid too highly compared to their public sector counterparts.
 
“Public employees work fewer hours a day, they work fewer days a week, they work fewer weeks a year and they work fewer years in a career than employees in the private sector,” says Ebenstein.

The organization believes employee compensation, especially pensions, is the root cause of local governments struggling to maintain services because of budget issues.

“Until we get employee compensation resolved,” argues Ebenstein, “we’re not going to be able to offer decent public services at a reasonable level of taxation.”

The CCPP invited former Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin to participate in the event, arguing in favor of public employees.    

Rotkin cited a 2010 joint study by Center for State and Local Government Excellence and National Institute on Retirement Security saying, “If you look just at wages, state employees are paid 11 percent less than employees in the private sector. Local government employees are paid 12 percent less.”

Rotkin argued that the key to battling California’s budget issues is increasing tax revenue, especially on the state’s high-wage earners and large corporations.

“I’m not talking about raising taxes on working people,” says Rotkin. “I’m talking about raising taxes on the people who can afford to pay them.

The CCPP will now take the debate to other cities around the state, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and Berkeley.

To learn more about the California Center for Public Policy, visit their website at: californiacenterforpublicpolicy.com.
 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia