‘Will work for shoes’

April 22, 2012 - By admin

April 22, 2012

By Katy Grimes

State employee discounts are getting ridiculous. Despite the fact that California state and local government employees are among the highest-paid in the country according the latest U.S. Census Bureau, they receive all kinds of crazy discounts.

I was shoe shopping over the weekend at DSW, a huge shoe retailer. As I was making my purchase, the clerk made a comment about me working for the state. It seemed like a strange comment, but then I realized that my wallet was sitting open on the counter and my Capitol press credentials were visible.

Before I could tell her that I did not, she had already keyed in a 20 percent discount on my purchase. And, she didn’t hear my answer anyway, as she was talking to another clerk. Apparently my Capitol credential was good enough to receive 20 percent off.

I don’t work for the state, but I support the state through excessive taxes.

I asked her why DSW was offering state employees a discount. The clerk said that they offer the discount as a promotion, and had recently offered a discount for school district employees.

It’s Good To Be the King

State employees receive all kinds of discounts–free and discounted bus and light rail passes, travel discounts, health club membership discounts, cell phones discounts, business discounts during the furlough, Apple computer discounts, Disneyland discounts, and even See’s Candies discounts.

There is a website dedicated to State Worker Deals, which advertises many different food and travel coupons and discounts available to state employees. “State Worker Deals was created by a former State Employee,” the website states. “Our founder always felt that State Government Workers are underpaid and work hard with sometimes little thanks.  Our founder wants to provide State Government Workers and Retirees across the USA an opportunity to save more money and live a happy and profitable life.”
The days of state workers being underpaid in thankless jobs are long gone. But hey – discounts on shoes are always good. It’s just too bad DSW doesn’t offer small business owners or manufacturers the same 20 percent discount.

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Comments(18)
  1. Beelzebub says:

    For God sakes. They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore. The capitalists are selling out. This is just like the old Soviet Union. Those of you who have studied the defunct Soviet Union know what I’m talking about. Those who haven’t I encourage you to read a book called “The Russians” by journalist Hedrick Smith. I read it when I was a kid back in the 70′s. You can practically get it for free at the discount stores. But we have caught up to them. Government workers are now the ‘privileged’. As soon as those Soviet style crackerjack apartments start going up in San Francisco the government workers will get first dibs. Watch closely. Workers of the State Unite!!!

  2. Lee Welter says:

    Thanks, Katy for another pertinent, concise article; and thanks, Beelzebub, for the book recommendation.

    I suspect that KB Homes gained its “Independence at Mather” development deal by offering large discounts to government employees. Sadly, that neighborhood is not ideal for those who think like us.

  3. queeg says:

    Your Masters must be nourished and revered…you vote for them and cower in corners when they speak….fear not….your gas per gallon went down 2 cents….

  4. Karen Medders says:

    Better yet, why don’t they discount their prices 20% and make a better profit in volume?? Imagine that, everyone who loves to shoe-shop could maybe say purchase more, at a business that offers discounted prices for all. Oh the revenue generated (sales tax) by more people shopping for shoes, at a 20% discount.

    It’s simple, back off on the taxes, semi-unethical ‘discounts’ to public employees. Leave us more money in our pockets on pay day and we’ll put more money back into an economy that can then put more money back into public obligations….that’s how you get an economy rolling again, or so I thought!

    Good article!

  5. David in Irvine says:

    Sorry, but I can’t get too outraged about a retailer trying to drive business its way in Gov-Town, California. Same thing with senior citizen’s discounts: the elderly objectively control more wealth than any other age cohort, reap more bennies from gov’t, but they still get cheaper movie tix at the art houses in Brentwood and Newport Beach. Next time anyone patronizes a Sac area DSW, try complaining to the manager about not getting the discount, and threaten to shop elsewere. You might well get the same deal. The moral basis of profit is that it arises through pleasing the customer.

  6. Beelzebub says:

    “Better yet, why don’t they discount their prices 20% and make a better profit in volume??”

    Sounds nice but businesses are subject to operating margins, unlike the government. Businesses cannot just mark down all products 20% for everyone and remain solvent – regardless of volume. If that were the case all of them would do it. You see, if one class of customer (government workers) get a 20% discount – that means the rest of the customers must pay a higher price for shoes or other items in that store to compensate for the discount. That’s how it works. So normal people with normal jobs must subsidize government workers not only for their excessive salaries and pensions, but now we must subsidize their purchases from private businesses. I have never shopped @ DSW but they have been added to my boycott list and I will spread the word. Nor will I ever buy an Apple computer, revisit Disneyland or eat a See’s chocolate. I am different from most. I take action against these atrocities.

    “It’s simple, back off on the taxes, semi-unethical ‘discounts’ to public employees”

    I totally agree with a caveat. The discounts are fully unethical IMO, not “semi-unethical”.

    There is guaranteed ‘trickle down’ with tax cuts for the middle class (unlike with tax-cuts for the rich). Middle class people actually spend their windfall dollars – they don’t put it in stocks and bonds and then pay capital gains at a much lower rate. But the middle class generally gets screwed because we don’t have any lobbyists who buy off the politicians. All we have is a vote – and as we know that is pretty much worthless in 2012.

  7. Beelzebub says:

    “The moral basis of profit is that it arises through pleasing the customer”

    Where the frack is the Tea Party? Why aren’t they protesting in front of these businesses? Isn’t this the reason they were formed? To stop the government bezzle? What better way than to protest and boycott local stores and bring this scam to the attention of the public?

  8. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Karen Medders says:
    April 23, 2012 at 7:07 am
    Better yet, why don’t they discount their prices 20% and make a better profit in volume?? Imagine that, everyone who loves to shoe-shop could maybe say purchase more, at a business that offers discounted prices for all. Oh the revenue generated (sales tax) by more people shopping for shoes, at a 20% discount.

    because IF THEY DID do what you’re suggesting they would be bankrupt. They could do this right now-they won’t because the extra sales volume will not cover the loss in margin profits.

    In addition this would just lower the sales at competing stores and thereby lower the overall sales taxes collected.

    Nice try. Fail :)

  9. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Sounds nice but businesses are subject to operating margins, unlike the government. Businesses cannot just mark down all products 20% for everyone and remain solvent – regardless of volume.

    Dang Beelz, it happened again, I responded to Karens comment, before reading yours, and you had made the nearly exact same reply as I did, before I made mine.

    We think pretty much the same, this has happened several times now.

  10. Beelzebub says:

    Rex, now if I can only get you to come on my side of the aisle, re: the Trayvon/GZ case! :) Oh well, a difference of opinion once in awhile is healthy. That’s what makes the world go round. The ones who annoy me are the Teddy’s of the world who are wrong on practically every topic.

  11. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    Sorry, Zimmerman was out of line-BIGTIME, he started a fight with an innocent person while carrying a deadly waepon-and he used it. No excuse for that. You don’t get to go statrting trouble when you’re packing a deadly weapon.

    He needs to be prosecuted, not 2nd, but manslaughter ofr sure. He needs prison time.

    Zimmerman will be convicted of murder in the 3rd and do pirosn time, I guarantee it.

  12. Beelzebub says:

    Rex, I respect your opinion but I don’t think you are aware of all the E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E or lack thereof. I don’t want to go over it again with you or advise you of the new evidence (in GZ’s favor) since we last discussed it. But I will tell you this. There is an excellent chance that the judge will rule in GZ’s favor at the immunity hearing and dismiss all charges based on the self-defense aspect of the case. That is, if we still have a court system in FL that adheres to the accepted laws of jurisprudence. You need to listen to Dershowitz. The man really knows what he’s talking about. And boy, did he ever trash talk the prosecutor after the bail hearing! He doesn’t think this case will even make it to the prelim.

  13. David H says:

    It’s called price discrimination. Or “bribery” by any other definition.

  14. Rex The Wonder Dog! says:

    There is an excellent chance that the judge will rule in GZ’s favor at the immunity hearing and dismiss all charges based on the self-defense aspect of the case. That is, if we still have a court system in FL that adheres to the accepted laws of jurisprudence. You need to listen to Dershowitz.

    There is no immunity, only whether there is proble cause to have a trail, and of course PC is very low compared to guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    I agree with Dershowitz that Zimmerman was over charged, very common DA practice to force a plea deal. Zimmerman will do a plea deal or will go to trial, if he goes to trial I expect a mansalughter conviction.

    Most reasonable people will know that gong out and starting a fight while packing heat- which is exactly what Zimmerman did- could lead to a death. If Zimmerman started getting the worst of the fight then he should not have started it, but he was in no danger of death or serious bodily injury against an unarmed tennager with a packet of Skittels, just a good butt whipping, which is what that dork GZ deserved.

  15. queeg says:

    Teddy needs love!

    He means well….

  16. Beelzebub says:

    “There is no immunity, only whether there is proble cause to have a trail, and of course PC is very low compared to guilt beyond reasonable doubt”

    In the State of FL defendants who claim ‘self-defense’ are given an opportunity to prove such at the immunity hearing. And it requires only a preponderence of the evidence. All the evidence I have seen so far in this case (including in the prosecutor’s affidavit for probable cause) points directly to a successful self-defense claim. GZ was walking back to his truck after ending the 911 call when Trayvon confronted him. He never caught up with Trayvon. On the 911 tape GZ was heard saying that Trayvon ran off and he lost sight of him. These are all facts. Of course we saw all the blood on GZ and police reports say he suffered a broken nose. According to the mortician Trayvon had no marks or bruises which indicated that he had been in a fight. A witness told police that Trayvon was on top of GZ straddling him and beating him simultaneously. These are all facts. And there is a better chance than not that they rise to a successful legal defense based on self-defense.

    “Most reasonable people will know that gong out and starting a fight while packing heat- which is exactly what Zimmerman did- could lead to a death”

    Rex, where is the evidence that GZ ‘started a fight’? I have seen that piece of evidence nowhere. On the contrary, there is ample evidence that Trayvon confronted GZ and start a physical fight. When a man is being beaten up and is in fear of his life or grave bodily injury – and cannot escape (pinned to the ground) according to the law he has a right to use lethal force to stop the perpetrator. ‘Stand your ground’ does not even enter the picture. It is a pure self-defense claim that would fly in most any state.

    “If Zimmerman started getting the worst of the fight then he should not have started it….”

    Again, no evidence he started it, rex. Trayvon chased GZ down and confronted GZ. GZ had every right to call 911 and report a person who he considered to be ‘suspicious’. That is no crime. It is no crime to try and ascertain the location of that ‘suspicious’ person to report to the police. The crime began once physical force took place. And all the evidence points to Trayvon as the culprit.

    Again, I don’t particularly like GZ. And I think he used poor judgment by playing cop. But poor judgment and playing cop are not crimes.

    I think this is a political prosecution based on mob rule. And I find that deplorable. That should not happen in the United States of America.

    GZ has a sharp attorney. Good chance the case goes bye-bye at the immunity hearing that takes place just prior to the arraignment.

  17. R says:

    It’s too bad most of you don’t know that those of us who don’t have a cushy state job work MANDATORY 16 hour shifts 6 days a month with no notice. We have no set days and hours, our lives revolve around working for the state, not a great place to be.

  18. Christopher says:

    I’m sorry that private sector retail has blinded the workforce to fact that employees are the most valuable asset they will ever have. I guess It’s so bad out there that people are forced to put up with horrible conditions or go unemployed.

    I can’t really say much about our wages compared to out-of-state entities because the author didn’t take the time to link to the claim, but it sounds like that’s only compared to other gov’t jobs around the country. I have friends with similar jobs being paid similarly in private sector.

    We have not had a cost-of-living increase in 15 years. It isn’t logical to claim that we are over-paid if our salaries have remained the same while the price of everything has inflated. That should lead to the conclusion that state workers were living like kings decades ago, but I don’t remember those stories, do you? My parents and grandparents weren’t driving BMW’s or anything.

    And to have the gall to attack the discounts we got when 15% of our check was being taken every month? NEWS FLASH: The furloughs didn’t even help our state; they only attacked a small portion of the populace when taxes could have been raised on all Californians to get actual funds for the state if we were in such dire straits. (Also, come February, I won’t have been able to count on a full paycheck for 4 years.)

    I only use my discount on my cell phone. I don’t feel bad about it because cell phone companies in the US are already purposefully gouging everyone and not providing services as advanced as possible. Asian countries already have much faster signals for their phones.

    I guess the most important message I could attempt to pass along is that attacking the middle class will only give more power to the corporations and upper class when they will only have to worry about keeping the impoverished from rebelling.

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Joseph Perkins, now assistant editor of the Orange County Register Opinion Pages, started his career as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. After serving on the White House Staff of former Vice President Dan Quayle he wrote for the San Diego Union-Tribune where he authored a nationally-syndicated column. Before writing for CalWatchdog.com, Mr. Perkins was also Business Editor for San Diego Magazine.
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