Re: Sit down, buckle in, and enjoy the recession

To the Editor,

Shame on you Mr. Nathan, what an insensitive statement to make “If you can’t handle a 5 percent pay cut, your priorities are in the wrong place.” Many state workers live on the edge, they live paycheck to paycheck and it is not because their priorities are out of line, state worker salaries can be as much as 18 percent below their private sector counter parts, their yearly gross can be between 25 — 30 thousand dollars, as well as being single parent households, after paying the bills you know priorities such as the mortgage, rent, food, clothes, utilities, transportation , health care costs, etc. the alleged misplaced priorities, there’s usually little left for anything else. So it’s quite possible a 5 percent reduction in pay can be devastating for working families whether they are private or public sector employees.

You say that all that is needed is a sacrifice in lifestyle. Many state workers have already done this. Over the last two years state workers have lost about 18 percent in wages & benefits through furloughs, merit freezes, increases in health care premiums and deductibles as well as losing their homes, evictions from their apartments or losing their vehicle. You also state that tax payers are the losers, that they are footing the bill and receiving nothing in return. Well sir state workers’ pay taxes and as for being subsidized, we are public servants and we perform a service to the citizens of Nevada, should we not be compensated for it, just as our private sector colleagues are. As for your claim of the selfishness and greed of the recent protest rally in Las Vegas and their chant of “We are one! We are one!” This chant had nothing to do with salaries and bennies, I am sure you are quite aware that public employees in Wisconsin agreed to increases in their health care and pensions. What it had to do with was a show of solidarity with our union brothers and sisters, against an uncompromising governor backed by multi-millionaire businessmen trying to silence the voices of workers, by destroying their right to collectively bargain, how un- American. If I recall this nation went to war with the mother country so many years ago when it tried to silence our voices.

Public employees as well as Private sector employees did not cause this economic nightmare. Stop portraying us as the villains, stop making us the scapegoats. This nightmare was caused by the greed of banks, the scarcity of oversight and corporate America. Mr. Nathan if you wish to point fingers you should point them there.

– Harry J. Shiffman
Political Science Major

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