The 8% Pay Cut

In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I work for the State of Delaware. Me as a computer geek and my wife as a Correctional Officer. Yesterday, we got an email basically stating that we were going to lose 8% of our salary due to the extreme budget shortfall the State is facing this year. Here’s how it will affect me:

  • My wife and I will lose 8% of our salary (around 7000 per year)
  • My wife and I will now have to pay for our health care (probably around 200 a month for a annual cost of 2400)
  • My part-time job as computer instructor at Polytech Adult Education, already down because of the economy, will also suffer an 8% pay cut (around 400 per year)

So, do I think it’s fair? For the first bullet, I’d say yes. Although the 8% might be a bit much, doing it across the board at least touches everyone.

Losing my double state share? (That’s when if both employees work for the State don’t pay for health insurance) NO. Although this has been the target of Ron Williams of the News Journal forever, just because you’re annoyed at some State legislator whose spouse also works for the state, don’t take it out on me 🙂

My Polytech loss? NO. When I teach a class at Polytech, it is considered an enrichment class and the classes I teach, when they make, create income for PolyTech.

So what am I going to do about it?

  1. Get interviewed by the News Journal J JL Miller called me this morning and we discussed this.
  2. Although I have resisted repairing computers part time for a while, I got my business license to repair computers. Even got a website
  3. You think I shopped with coupons before, you ain’t seen nothing yet J
  4. Decide on how to best cover health care for 4 year old niece who we have legal guardianship of. My son is autistic and is covered under Medicaid, so I don’t have to worry about health care for him. A possibility may include suing for child support from my nieces biological father

Honestly, we’ll be OK. I’m just not sure how some single parents who work for the State (and I talked to one of them yesterday and she was in tears) will be able to make it.

One other thing. Although I think this sucks J I give the Governor a huge amount of credit for making a decision that NO ONE likes. Hopefully this action will buy him some time and next year we won’t be in this same mess


Liberals and Conservatives (My Response to Rich Collins)

Over at First State Politics Rich Collins has put up a rambling document about the difference between liberals and conservatives. The gist of the piece was that liberals are stupid, naïve, ruled by emotion and that conservatives are logical and smart. Does this mean that Rich has pointy ears like Spock? J Anyhow, as a life-long liberal, I thought I’d answer back. I think Rich makes a few valid points, but most of his document just really shows why sometimes liberals and conservatives just don’t get along J

First, I really believe that, in order to tackle some of the problems that we face, these labels we use just make discussion harder. Instead of actually listening to one another, we tend to dismiss someone’s argument because they aren’t in the club. So, in that vein, I’ll list the things I think Rich got right.

Rich mentions age as a contributor to whether one is a liberal or conservative. Although I don’t believe that is completely true, it bears some scrutiny. For myself, I am a 45 year old liberal. I’ll give you the biggest example of one view of mine that has really changed over the years and that is the Death Penalty. When I was younger, I took the typical liberal view that the death penalty was wrong for moral reasons. Now, after working at a jail for eight years, my view is a bit different. I ran into many inmates that just didn’t seem to be part of the same human race that I was. But still, I’m against the death penalty. Not for moral reasons, but for pragmatic reasons. When we start executing rich white males (yes I mean you Capano), then I’ll sign on. Until then, I’m against the death penalty.

Another change in my worldview is the right to choose. As I’ve gotten older, although I still believe in the right of choice, I’m much less strident about it. I’ve come to realize that this particular issue has many valid points of view.

So I do believe that as one gets older, their views may change. Not necessarily one way or the other, but views change as you learn more and get more experience.


  • We (Greenpeace) have been bitching about Global Warning for at least 20 years. And we just now agree it’s a problem?
  • Health Care has been an issue for almost equally as long. Again, just now discovering it?
  • It is in fact the government’s duty to intervene when there are market inefficiencies. Health Care, Pollution, etc

In any case, I’ll finish up so that I don’t ramble on too much. If Rich feels that my beliefs are emotional, GOOD! Life is about emotion. We are human. Emotion is part of the human experience.