Comments by OldDawg

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Posted on June 17 at 7:31 a.m.

The opening sentence in this piece, saying that the cost of a UCSB education is "running upward of $30,000" is at best misleading. The annual cost of an undergraduate UCSB education for a California resident is $15,880 ... not $30,000. The $15,880 covers tuition, other UCSB registration fees, textbooks, and course supplies. It is true that a student, like us non-students, faces other costs of living (like paying rent, utilities, insurance, food, transportation, etc) and this may mean that they spend upwards of $30,000 per year. But non-students in our area also have these living expenses, and these expenses have nothing at all to do with UCSB.

On Many UCSB and SBCC Students Struggle with Homelessness

Posted on May 13 at 10:22 p.m.

I second loonpt's motion, to the word

No more Government, to fix problems that Government needlessly created.

On Reactions to I.V. Shooting Roll In

Posted on April 29 at 11:18 p.m.

The problem is not with the defined benefit pension per se ... the problem is with d-b plans that are provided and managed by employers. These employer managed D-B plans are terribly subject to abuse by the employer. I personally would call them corrupt. And in my humble opinion, I think the kind of employers where this potential for abuse is most acute is public/government employers. It is government employers who are least subject to financial transparency, accounting, and disclosure regulation. Government makes the rules, and as employers they exempt themselves from so many of the rules they force on private sector employers.

The prospective employer, public or private, has every incentive in the world to "whisper sweet lies" in your ear, about the tremendous and unique defined benefits they can provide for your future retirement. Such employers want you to do the deal, take the crummy wage/salary they have on offer (ie, cash on the table now) and in exchange you get your lottery ticket to their "pot of gold" defined benefit in retirement. And it's a sweet tasting deal, but based on fuzzy math or on assumptions the employer wanted. The employer purchases such favorable assumptions from consultants on the open and lively market in favorable assumptions.

A better kind of defined benefit plan, which is much less subject to "employer corruption" is the kind provided on the open market, SEPARATED FROM THE EMPLOYER. It's called an annuity contract, and there are all kinds of varieties and flavors of annuity contract. But basically, you're doing a deal where the firm (incredibly regulated more than employers) provides you an annual benefit with insurance that you will not outlive it. You pay a premium for that. And the deal has nothing to do with selling you a job for a crummy salary ... the annuity firm has no part in that. They are selling a deal based on competition with other annuity providers, and based on stern regulation from ... the government.

D-B plans, if honest, are annuities. And if your employer provided D-B plan is offering something incredibly better than a privately purchased annuity ... maybe your employer is whispering sweet lies in your ear. And maybe your employer, who has perhaps become accustomed to lies, will easily walk from such promises. Is this UC? Is this the State?

IMHO, the hybrid plan that Jarvis(x2) discusses ... is probably the workable transition that is coming for so many D-B's that are really employer con-jobs -- like UCRP and CalPers. It's the work-out bankruptcy plan. It will likely happen.

I wish it were not so, I have a deep personal stake in UCRP solvency, and I have few work years left to recover from the fall. But math is math. I think JJ's forecast is correct, and we involved should consider next steps in that light.

On Colleges Bleed to Death Slowly

Posted on April 27 at 7:49 p.m.

She talks about having a dream of serving the community she loves. Heck, I serve the community I love, in spades ... property tax, sales tax, state income tax, federal income tax. I would like our next representative in Congress to appreciate my service in this regard, and not get all dreamy about their own modest service in being paid (very well) to choose how to overspend my contribution, in DC.

On Laura Burton Capps Not Running for Congress

Posted on April 16 at 5:53 p.m.

Bad reporting but nobody's perfect and we're all exhausted. Still an overworked reporter should be able to rely on an editor, as a backstop, to proofread her copy. I guessed it was County, as I think Lyz's beat is the county and she reports very well on these County matters.

On Big Bucks Requested During Budget Workshop

Posted on April 16 at 6:14 a.m.

Uh ... please identify the organization facing multiple requests for big bucks from its department heads.

On Big Bucks Requested During Budget Workshop

Posted on March 5 at 6:27 a.m.

On the district elections issue, reading Barney and Capello I sometimes think I've fallen into an alternative universe, where words have the exact opposite meaning.

Barney says that moving from at-large to district elections is "drawing the curtain on a shameful chapter of blatant discrimination." Huh? We're being required to walk away from a system where everyone has an equal right and opportunity to vote, within a single district (the city as a whole) whose boundaries were drawn without reference to race or ethnicity. And now we're being coerced into adopting a district system, where the boundaries of two of the districts must be gerrymandered to blatantly favor election of members of one ethnic group, over all others. And in doing this, we're moving from "blatant discrimination" to a brave new colorblind world? Barney, as regards the meaning of the term "discrimination", one of us is living in an alternative universe.

Likewise, Capello says "It’s not being rushed. A large number of people have been disenfranchised for too long." Huh? Googling a definition of "disenfranchise", I got this: "to deprive someone of the right to vote." If I'm not mistaken, there were no allegations that anybody had been denied the right to vote. So what alternative universe is Capello living in?

On Brave New World of Santa Barbara

Posted on February 26 at 12:23 a.m.

Please. UCSB, as a public not-for-profit enterprise, never simply "donates" money. More accurately, it donates other people's money.

Indy, can you at least press the question to UCSB, and report back to us the answer: who, among the many UCSB funding providers, is specifically paying for this? Are they donating tuition? Or is it State funding for instruction? Is it income from parking fees charged to staff? Is it a gift from Montecito money-bags, provided without restrictions on use (that will be the day)?

Indy, can we have just a bit more on this, beyond "UCSB is donating". UCSB has nothing to donate, except other people's money. Who are the other people, and how much are they paying?

On UCSB Donating $70,000 for Isla Vista Fencing

Posted on February 19 at 8 p.m.

A really, really, really bad law.

Nobody has been denied their voting rights. No districts have been gerrymandered to serve any political "machine." There are no districts, so there's nothing to artfully carve up to serve any machine at all.

Racially polarized? Yeah, well birds of a feather, flock together, duh. BFD, So what? As long as all the birds have an equal vote, and are not stopped from voting ... why can't free birds flock together, if they freely choose to do so?

Dear Council ... if you choose to settle, please at least very publicly and loudly register your disgust with this sorry excuse for law from Sacramento.

On The Strange and Mysterious Case of Cruzito Cruz

Posted on December 7 at 8:04 a.m.

Nick, please follow up with Gaskin on this point. In the third paragraph into this piece you report:

"It’s a function of economics, she said. The state funds community colleges to the tune of $6,000 a student. By contrast, she noted, UC schools receive $22,000."

The claim that UC schools receive $22,000 per student from the state is just wildly wrong. UC schools actually receive only $8,260 per student from Sacramento (FY 2013-14). Gaskin should know better. Did she really say that, or did something get horribly garbled in your interview?

(Source: See page S-11 in http://regents.universityofcalifornia... )

On Geoff Green Takes City College Post

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