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Question to Union Proponents

Original post made by GX on Sep 26, 2012

There has been much negative press regarding private equity firms this election cycle. They are despised and blamed for much by the left, especially public union fans and other socialist leaning entities.

I ran across an interesting piece this morning where public union pension funds are some of the largest investors in private equity funds. They are forced to do so given the outsized returns they need to achieve to support their untenable pension promises.

This particular piece is regarding NY, but I know from an acquaintance of mine from a CA PE firm that the same thing is happening here with CalPERS, etc.

Is Uncle Sam The Biggest Enabler Of Private Equity Jobs "Offshoring"?

Web Link

So my question to all you union and/or worker rights people out there, are you are aware of this? If so what is your perspective? If you are OK with this, how do you justifying the enabling of outsourcing more jobs to protect outsized pension promises? If PE firms are the bad guys, aren't those who fund such operations also bad guys? Wouldn't this include CalPERS and other public union funds?

Comments (31)

Posted by Tish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

Why ask us, GX? Why not ask an expert on outsourcing labor, like Mitt Romney?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Your post reminds me of this: Web Link

"The endangered public company - The rise and fall of a great invention, and why it matters"

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

Tish - are you purposely ignoring the connection? Probably so.

Where you do think much of the investment funds Bain Capital (Romney's fund) come frome? Public union pension funds.

I guess it is much easier for you blame your favorite bad guy rather than think about all the connections and hypocrisies involved.

One public union member's oversized pension is enabling the offshoring of another private union member's job. This doesn't quite fly with the meme being spouted that public unions are defenders of the middle class.

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

Stacey - I'm puzzled by the article you post above regarding the negative effects of too-much government compliance regulations with the comments you made counter this on the Comcast thread where you intimate that government actions have little impact on company/individual actions.

Posted by Informed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

Right you are GX. Pension Funds are some of their biggest 'investor' customers. Stupidity reigns.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

Stacey is a registered user.


Read my reply in the other thread. Aren't you lumping in deductible taxes with regulation compliance costs?

Posted by Tish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:05 am

So, I'm confused by your comments, GX (just like I am when you print such contradictory gobbedygook under the name Arnold). But I want to be clear: Are you saying both Romney and Unions are bad? Or are you saying they are both good? Or are you saying one is bad and one is good because you are so muddled up in ideological fervor that you cannot bring yourself to criticize your guy whose corpse is being sung over by the fat lady (who, yes, I know, is probably either a welfare queen or wife of a union fatcat). Please, in your own words, if you can find them.

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:21 am

How about you make an honest attempt at answering my initial questions, then I'm make a go at yours.

IMHO you might want to be careful about your stereotypes and assuming everyone is Arnold. First you are wrong, and second it detracts from the messages you are trying to convey.

Posted by Sunshine in P-Town, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I can see how you'd be wont to assume GX and Arnold are the same poster, Tish. Both use bad math in order to support an inflexible ideology; both are inclined to raise loaded questions such as 'Hey, Mr. Liberal, have you stopped beating your wife yet?'; and 'their' language is debased on account of mangling facts and meanings to suit aforementioned ideology.

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Very weak ...

Still no response to the obvious implied hypocrisy of public union pensions being one of the larger investors in private equity funds. The same funds that are demonized by the same union personnel for shipping jobs overseas.

Sad and pathetic.

Posted by Sunshine in P-Town, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Haven't heard any response to Tish's rational question. So, GX, are you saying investments in offshore accounts are bad or good?

By the way, most union members are too busy working and doing family to keep close tabs on their union leaders' investments. But, to echo Tish's question, just what are you saying? That some unions are hypocritical because they invest in firms that take the money offshore. Wow... That's really saying something. Na-na-na.

Hey Buddy, I've got news for you. During the next four years, as Obama continues to improve the lot of middle-class Americans, maybe you can do something constructive with your life. Volunteer at Red Cross maybe?

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

These lame diversion tactics are tiresome.

Does anyone else want to engage in an actual debate based on the uncomfortable and hypocritical facts presented?

Posted by Sunshine in P-Town, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm

So, GX, when did you discontinue your uncomfortable and hypocritical inflictions of violence upon your wife? Answer my question. No lame and tiresome diversion tactics will be accepted.

Talking about lame and tiresome. From the dullest and most boring poster on these sites? Is it at all possible you might think of posting something that doesn't involve your fetishistic need to stroke the money in your pocket and wail about how organized groups out there are out-politicking the likes of you and the rest of the tea party toe-pickers?

Stop with the diversions. Do you support investments going to offshore employment practices or not? Are you too muddleheaded to formulate a response? Why don't you stop beating your wife? Why don't you stop denying that you and the bad mathematician, Arnold, are the same person?

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Sigh ...

Posted by Tish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Indeed ... What a blowhard!

Posted by To: Tish, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Climbing the Risk Ladder

"Here's a great example of how public pension funds, in a desperate grab at realizing the high returns their financial strategies require for them to remain solvent, are undertaking increasingly risky bets investments….CalPERS, the California public employees' pension fund, owns more than a million shares of Facebook stock. Doesn't putting that many eggs in a basket that has never made a profit and might not even have a plan to do so sound sort of risky to you? I mean for CalPERS not for Mark Zuckerberg.. .. It should be noted that this is one of the great problems with defined benefit programs. Unless they are fully funded and managed extremely conservatively, the earnings they realize just may not be enough to pay what they're required to pay." Web Link

Enter the tax payer who is basically guaranteeing the ever increase amount of risk tolerance accepted by Giant pension funds like CalPERS and CalSTRS. There own advisors claim they are very unlikely to see average annual returns of 7.75/7.5% for the next decade. For CalPERS and CalSTRS to accept that advice would require taxpayers to contribute extra hundreds of billions of their money to fully fund the commitments made by politicians to the public employee union's pension funds.

Because both CalPERS & the Unions do NOT want more pressure from taxpayers, or money flowing from General Funds toward pension costs - which actually reduces the amount of money that can be paid to the same employees in the form of salary (which also increases the pension costs), CalPERS has advocated for looser investment standards and their Board (comprised mostly of Union members) has put policies in place that allow the GIANT pension fund to assume an increasing and disturbing amount of RISK in order to justify their investment assumptions (7.75% returns).

Essentially the public employee unions, with the help of union friendly democrats in both the house and senate, and the CalPERS Board of Directors, and Union friendly city council members, and Union employees in city management positions, are all complicit in allowing this fiasco to continue unabated - the gambling of TAX PAYER DOLLARS by allowing the pension funds to increase their stake in the high RISK/REWARD Private Equity markets, while ignoring the more sane recommendations of investment professionals they pay top dollar to for advice.

Why would they do that? Why would the CalPERS & CalSTRS pension funds move from a risk free strategy of mostly bonds to the very risky strategy of Global Private Equity investments, emerging market investments, and high-risk securities. The answer is, kind of, that they have no choice because it is the only possible way for them to get out from behind the eight-ball. Otherwise they need to get honest and tell cities/taxpayers that the overblown cost they are all ready paying for pension will increase by 50-100%. But they can't do that because that would literally send the general funds of half the cities in California over the cliff and into bankruptcy. More importantly for the unions, it would also put extreme pressure on themselves to reduce pensions and salaries. CalPERS and the Unions, like BAD GAMBLER's, can't possibly go home and tell the wife they blew the rent check at the Poker Table. So they have PUSHED ALL- IN with a pair of Fours…

Earlier I mentioned, in regards to CalPERS/CalSTRS taking on increased risk, "The answer is, "kind of", that they have no choice because it is the only possible way for them to get out from behind the eight-ball." The "kind of" reference has to do with my own statement not being entirely true. The truth is that the GIANT pensions funds don't really have any investment risk at all. Sure, they can fall short of their assumed investment returns by 15 billion dollars in a single year- they just did, but the risk is 100% borne by the taxpayers. The 15 Billion is strapped to the backs of the taxpayers on top of the other 100's of billions we're already stuck with…

Yet the public employee unions continue to demonize the Private Equity industry even though their pension's funds are what are driving many of those investments. While the unions are busy doing that the TAX PAYERS should get busy Demonizing both CalPERS & CalSTRS: two of the largest and most inefficient pension funds in the world - Gamblers really. And they're using future tax payer dollars to back their gambling debt! What is happening should be criminal.

Posted by Tish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm

What a laugh. Even if the above had a Ralph Lauren label on it I wouldn't bother reading. Learn to think and write in your own words, GX. Don't let others do your thinking and writing for you.

Posted by To:tish, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Only the first paragraph was quoted. The rest of the text is all original. But, I guess it's just easier for you to claim I'm someone else than actually respond to or refute my statement.

Not everyone is GX. Grow up!

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I'd recommend you stop wastin your time with this poster as I have.

I never cease to be amazed as to the purposeful ignorance of some. I guess this obvious and huge point of hypocrisy creates too much dissonance for some of those with vested interests.

Posted by Tish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Please, sir, I would like more. Please write more and more and more. But are you so embarrassed at the lengths you take that you must change your name from GX to To: Tish? Are you afraid people will laugh at you even more than they ordinarily do? Since you feel compelled to waste your time on such prattle, perhaps you can take time to address a very basic question: Is investing in offshore firms good or bad? If you can't/won't answer that, then there's only one hypocrite around here, albeit badly disguising himself under multiple names. What is the dead giveaway? Read one or two lines ... yawn ... turn to another site.

Posted by Tish Tish, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm

While I'm not GX, I will take the time to discuss what you refer to as "a very basic question: "Is investing in offshore firms good or bad?"

Before I answer, and for the sake of brevity, maybe you can define what you mean by good and Bad. For instance, would it be good that third world countries receive jobs at the expense of jobs here? Don't they want to eat also? Would unionizing third world, or emerging markets, help to shrink the competitive advantage of low-cost labor markets? Is it bad that corporations invest in low-cost labor markets even if it increases the standard of living in those countries? If those investments help generate corporate earnings which help to prop up the failing CalPERS pension fund that so many public employees are counting on to produce the funds necessary for them to retire at age 50-55, and provide monthly payments and annual cost-of-living increases for 25-30 years - is that good or bad? Do you know that both CalPERS & CalSTRS invest in companies that both outsource and offshore jobs? It was just announced that CalSTRS has substantially increased their real-estate investment in China.

Imagine that? Billions of Dollars paid by taxpayers to California public employee union members in the form of pension contributions being shipped to China. Is that good or bad? I guess it depends on how you look at. The way I look at it is the tax payers are getting screwed - that's bad!

It would be easier to answer your question if only it were more specific.

Posted by Tish, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 27, 2012 at 12:55 am

I only have one thing to say to you, GX who claims he isn't GX. Your inability to formulate a clear thought outside the rightwing blogosphere cut-and-paste world you live in gives you away every time, whether you post as gx or arnold or tish-tish. It isn't your conclusions that give you away; it is your astonishing inability to think using your own words.

Poor you, who are so screwed. Life would be so much better were you a child laborer in China, forced to work as a condition of bare existence, while rightwing goofs in Pleasanton like yourself refer to you as "investment opportunities" that give "competitive advantage."

You are a child who pretends to be an adult. The only positive feedback you are capable of eliciting is your own, under yet another alias. Why do you think no one seriously engages you?

Posted by Linda G, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 27, 2012 at 7:03 am

Tish, You are part of the reason many people will not post their own name. Personal attacks are the lowest form of debate. When you can't put together a good argument, attack the person? And no I am not GX. This is my first post on this thread.

Posted by aye aye aye, a resident of Donlon Elementary School
on Sep 27, 2012 at 10:22 am

tish tish,

why bother to state you're going to answer a question, and then just continue to espouse more tea party rhetoric without ever even attempting to answer the question? i understand it's a difficult one to answer for the limbaugh-ites of the world as it wouldn't paint a good picture of the magic underwear sporting presidential hope for the GOP, but realizing that, again, why bother?

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 10:27 am

Just so you don't have to wade through all the obfuscation above:

Public union pension funds are some the of larger investors in private equity firms. These are the same private equity firms that are so demonized by unions as proponents of offshoring jobs.

It is hard to think of a stronger example of hypocrisy. But as you can see above, many people try to spin it otherwise.

Posted by Sooo, a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:18 am

By continuing to paint these funds as evil, you either agree that they are inherently bad and thus have a problem with Mitt Romney, or you don't think they're bad and thus only continue to harp on it in attempt to discredit union workers as any good right wing talking head would have you do (meaning you yourself are a hypocrit). Which is it?

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

Please point out specifically where I personally painted these funds as evil.

You can't - because I didn't

I personally don't have an issue with private equity firms, other hypocritical people do. Hypocrital people who benefit from the role private equity firms play.

Private equity firms place a necessary role in the creative destruction process of industry. People clueless to how markets/industries actually work who take issue.

Just think, would Apple be the same company success it is today without taking advantage of outsourcing? Not a chance.

Decades ago, the US pushed globalization to push American products/services to the rest of the world. Now we are whining because we haven't kept up with competition and/or we haven't dealt with China in the proper way.

Posted by Bored to death, a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Please note, GX, when I see your name, I ordinarily continue on to the next post. Why? You push the same agenda time and again. Only the metaphor changes: tsunami, cliffside, deep hole, cataclysmic crisis, etc. When pressed, you display a conspicuous inability to read other people's posts and to engage them in coherent argument. Upshot: you're boring, repetitive, long-winded and don't contribute to dialogue in any meaningful way.

Oh, by the way, yes, we now live in an increasingly globalized economy. It makes things more difficult for incumbant presidents to tackle unemployment what with firms going off to foreign lands in pursuit of wealth and treasure while exploiting impoverished men, women, and children. (Having an obstructionist Republican congress doesn't help much, either.) Some investments amount to making a pact with the devil. One can say all this and still be a strong proponent of unions. Your inability to grasp this is, well, predictable. Highly predictable. For how can an ostrich see daylight with its head stuck in a hole in the ground?

Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm

So why stop now to impart us with your thoughts? Is the truth of public unions' hypocrisy too painful?

"Do what I say, not what I do!" cried the valiant defenders of the middle class.

Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Sep 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Keep engaging with him--even to say that you're not going to engage with him--and he'll keep coming back for more. Just sayin'

Posted by Bored, too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

As 'bored' mentioned above, we can't possibly hold Obama to account for the promises he made to lower unemployment below 8%, because the world in conspiring against him (like globalization was just invented in 2008).
So tell us, oh bored one, what should the president and congress do to increase employment in our country? Aside from blaming republicans, that is........

Obama, man/child of a thousand excuses and apologies.......

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