- What is the cost/price; What quantity
- The exchange rate that you’re charged will be the rate in effect when the transaction reaches your account. And bear in mind that your credit card company will almost certainly add a service charge or commission to every dollar transaction.
- $20 at the door, $18 with a reservation, $15 for students
- A qualified dentist or veterinary surgeon
- give medical treatment to
- sophisticate: alter and make impure, as with the intention to deceive; “Sophisticate rose water with geraniol”
- A person who gives advice or makes improvements
- a licensed medical practitioner; “I felt so bad I went to see my doctor”
- A qualified practitioner of medicine; a physician
- monetary value: the property of having material worth (often indicated by the amount of money something would bring if sold); “the fluctuating monetary value of gold and silver”; “he puts a high price on his services”; “he couldn’t calculate the cost of the collection”
- (of an object or an action) Require the payment of (a specified sum of money) before it can be acquired or done
- the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor
- be priced at; “These shoes cost $100”
- Cause the loss of
- Involve (someone) in (an effort or unpleasant action)
THE HOLE CALIFORNIA HAS DUG IS SWALLOWING IT……..AND IF YOU LET THE UNIONS HAVE THEIR WAY…. YOUR STATE WILL BE NEXT
By Mark Niquette, Michael B. Marois & Rodney Yap – Dec 10, 2012 9:54 PM PT ..
Nine years ago, California Democrat Gray Davis became the first U.S. governor in 82 years to be recalled by voters. The state’s 20 million taxpayers still bear the cost of his four years and 10 months on the job.
Davis escalated salaries and benefits for 164,000 state workers, including a 34 percent raise for prison guards, the first of a series of steps in which he and successors saddled California with a legacy of dysfunction. Today, the state’s highest-paid employees make far more than comparable workers elsewhere in almost all job and wage categories, from public safety to health care, base pay to overtime.
David Crane, a public-policy lecturer at Stanford University who worked as an economic adviser to former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, talks with Bloomberg’s Mark Niquette about the pay packages of California’s public employees. Payroll data compiled by Bloomberg on 1.4 million public employees in the 12 most-populous states show that California has set a pattern for lax management, inefficient operations and out-of-control costs. (Source: Bloomberg)
America’s Great State Payroll Giveaway
.Payroll data compiled by Bloomberg on 1.4 million public employees in the 12 most-populous states show that California has set a pattern of lax management, inefficient operations and out-of-control costs. From coast to coast, states are cutting funding for schools, public safety and the poor as they struggle with fallout left by politicians who made pay-and-pension promises that taxpayers couldn’t afford.
“It was completely avoidable,” said David Crane, a public-policy lecturer at Stanford University.
“All it took was for political leaders to think more about the general population and the future, rather than their political futures,” said Crane, a Democrat who worked as an economic adviser to former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. “Citizens should be mad as hell, and they shouldn’t take it anymore.”
Across the U.S., such compensation policies have contributed to state budget shortfalls of $500 billion in the past four years and prompted some governors, including Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin, to strip most government employees of collective-bargaining rights and take other steps to limit payroll spending.
In California, Governor Jerry Brown hasn’t curbed overtime expenses that lead the 12 largest states or limited payments for accumulated vacation time that allowed one employee to collect $609,000 at retirement in 2011. The 74-year-old Democrat has continued requiring workers to take an unpaid day off each month, which could burden the state with new costs in the future.
Last year, Brown waived a cap on accrued leave for prison guards while granting them additional paid days off. California’s liability for the unused leave of its state workers has more than doubled in eight years, to $3.9 billion in 2011, from $1.4 billion in 2003, according to the state’s annual financial reports.
“It’s outrageous what public employees in California receive in compensation and benefits,” said Lanny Ebenstein, who heads the California Center for Public Policy, a Santa Barbara-based research institution critical of public payrolls.
“Until public employee compensation and benefits are brought in line, there will be no answer to the fiscal shortfalls that California governments at every level face,” he said.
Among the largest states, almost every category of worker has participated in the pay bonanza. Britt Harris, chief investment officer at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, last year collected $1 million — including his $480,000 salary and two years of bonuses — more than four times what Republican Governor Rick Perry received. Pension managers in Ohio and Virginia made up to $678,000 and $660,000, respectively, according to the data, which Bloomberg obtained using public- record requests. In an interview, Harris said public pension pay must be competitive with the private sector to attract top investment talent.
Psychiatrists were among the highest-paid employees in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey, with total compensation $270,000 to $327,000 for top earners. State police officers in Pennsylvania collected checks as big as $190,000 for unused vacation and personal leave as they retired young enough to start second careers, while Virginia paid active officers as much as $109,000 in overtime alone, the data show.
The numbers are even larger in California, where a state psychiatrist was paid $822,000, a highway patrol officer collected $484,000 in pay and pension benefits and 17 employees got checks of more than $200,000 for unused vacation and leave. The best-paid staff in other states earned far less for the same work, according to the data.
Seanie Blue on the Cost of Art
The Olympics are just over, and who won what? Will we buy more cereal, will we buy a better shampoo or toothpaste because of the games? Will we covet the corporate swastikas of Nike and Coca Cola? If we don’t buy the products, will we at least emblazon their logos across our breasts? I didn’t watch a minute, couldn’t, because the nationalism makes me gloomy and because the very act of watching the television makes me stupid. My friend Anton mentions swimmer Michael Phelps, and I sneer in response. Anton is surprised; look at what Phelps has accomplished, he says. I retort: Who won the swimming golds in 1956 or 1932 or even 1996? Nobody will remember Michael Phelps in twenty years, and he has carelessly spent a lifetime in the shallow perfection of swimming more quickly than anyone else. Now what will he do? Write a beautiful poem?
And I think this oblivion of purpose is causing the malaise we are all admitting. But are we admitting it? The word "treadmill" keeps coming up as an adjective for our careers in my conversations. The boredom is mighty. The stress, shattering. But we don’t drop out or spend everything for the slim possibilities of creativity or look at the sky and taste the soil to relax. We work harder, clench our jaws a bit tighter, schedule more one-hour yoga classes, and watch our heros aim for the record books. We learn from the the Olympic swimmers that technique and torque will make us better at what we do, and become convinced we can jog and shop at Whole Foods to be healthier human beings. Time passes, and instead of seizing it we sell it for pennies. Why?
The singer writes me from Hollywood and is worried about her identity. She has wasted her time and her finances and also feels as if she is aging. But still she presses forward. She wants a sign that the looming depression in her mind might be worthy of becoming its own work of art. She wants a sign from me. Who else has so wasted his time and money while getting uselessly (and dangerously) older, than me? My mother died almost four years ago and I got a tax-free check for $220,000. That money is gone, spent on my illusions. Before that, I got a check for $118,000 from a refinancing of one house, and $54,000 from the refinancing of another, and both houses are now in foreclosure; officials from the banks, the mortgagors, and the credit agencies fall into absolute delight when they reach me on the phone and I regale them with solutions to their personal problems. I’ve recorded dozens of conversations with people looking to collect who quickly realize that I have a much tastier nectar to offer: "Quit, split, find a big sky where you don’t hear the commerce crackling every second into your ear, move to a place with no billboards and comb the beach for baby turtles you can throw into the waves before the gulls eat them for lunch, save yourself because nobody else will, especially nobody who is in the business of saving souls," etc., and you can hear it in the recordings, they are all cooing in agreement, with church-like rapture. Yes, quit, split. Sounds good, but how?
When I was in Bolivia a shaman told me the story of the coca leaf. Yatiri, the great god of the Andes, was approached by the dispirited people: We are cold, and we are tired and we are hungry, they said. The foreigners are enslaving us and killing us, what can we do? Yatiri pointed at the coca leaf growing in the dirt and said: "Chew this plant and you will not feel cold, not feel hunger, and never be tired, but any foreigner who tastes this leaf will be wrecked into pieces." Fifteen years ago, who would have said the same thing about the Internet? The web might make us geniuses, I agree, but when do we look at the sky, touch the trees, and swim in the Sea? We get our measly week, annually, let off the leash? Every single person I greet agrees vehemently with me when I say: "I’m wasting my life on the bloody computer, blowing my brains out on the Internet." Instant recognition, infinite empathy.
Television, the cushy career, the blooming family, the Internet, can these really be the recipe for a life flushing down the drain? My life? The only one I will ever have, slave to some institution’s bottom line, bartered for deathbed comfort, spent in the bleachers cheering on my heros as they aim for those silly record books? When do I have a chance to ignite a moment of wonder? Tethered by anchors, will I ever soar to the heights I imagined? Moments of creativity and the endless universes they