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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Op/Ed: Detroit EM Kevyn Orr conditioned response leads to describing Michigan workers as 'lazy and dumb'

Photo Credit - Wood TV 8 - Michigan
Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

A IU News & Talk Op/Ed
Generalization using the psychology based definition means:
"To a process within operant and classical conditioning, where a conditioned response (CR) starts occurring in response to the presentation of other, similar stimuli, not just the conditioned stimulus (CS)."
A conditioned response includes defining workers within the in middle or lower economic classes as "lazy or dumb". The conditioned stimulus would be invoked by the question presented.

Humans generally feel a certain level comfort to express certain thoughts, ideas or beliefs within a environment they would deem as comfortable. In unfamiliar environments humans tend to filter expressions to present a professional tone and demeanor.


Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr recent interview with Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley presented a comfortable environment for the former Jones Day bankruptcy attorney-at-law. Coziness of the discussion in Orr's and Finley's conversation was at full display when Detroit's appointed Emergency Manager issued the below response.
“For a long time the city was dumb, lazy, happy and rich. Detroit has been the center of more change in the 20th century than I dare say virtually any other city, but that wealth allowed us to have a covenant [that held] if you had an eighth grade education, you’ll get 30 years of a good job and a pension and great health care, but you don’t have to worry about what’s going to come," Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr stated to Finley.
Orr's comment evoked a condition response in the form of 140 characters via Twitter from no other than Ron Fournier, Editorial Editor of the National Journal and self-described - Import from Detroit. Fournier elegantly replied to Orr's use of disparaging words to describe millions of Michigan's retired and middle class workers.

Fournier is correct. What an outrageous use of generalization fueled stimuli statement Detroit's Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr made.

This is the same Kevyn Orr that failed keeping up-to-date his child care provider unemployment insurance payments due in Maryland before his Emergency Manager appointment. As Detroit's Emergency Manager Orr receives a salary $250K per year plus expenses, to boot.

"A Maryland official confirmed today that two payments have been made on tax liens filed against Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency financial manager, after the state went after unpaid unemployment insurance on child care for his two children.

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation spokeswoman Maureen O’Connor told the Free Press today that she could not discuss specifics of the liens filed against Orr, but said two payments were made on outstanding taxes he owed, so the liens “are in the process of being satisfied.” She declined further comment.
Orr said during the weekend that he moved immediately to make restitution with the state, settling for about $11,500 in back unemployment insurance taxes.
Should Michigan residents generalize Orr's misstep failing to pay unemployment insurance payments due to Maryland on time, while previously employed as a high-profile bankruptcy attorney by prestigious law firm of Jones Day, as lazy or dumb?

Of course not. Engaging to a quick characterization of Orr's financial management abilities based off his EM's failure to write a simple check for taxes due, would not be right at all. Especially after Orr forwarded the property tax payment due to Maryland after local news resource The Detroit News called this important matter to his attention.

Michigan government workers expected to receive in return for rendered, a pension guarantee  The pension right was earned despite receiving just a eight grade education or by a higher education level of coursework.

In this case, the workers were gainfully employed for years at the same employer. For services rendered government workers in the State were made a promise. The promise included a defined monthly benefit pension and health care coverage upon retirement.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr believes these workers are dumb or lazy. In Orr's opinion, the fault lies directly with workers believing in contractual agreements guaranteeing a form of financial assurance after contributing 'sweat equity' for employers. In a promises made, promises broken kind of way.

A majority of State Residents would disagree with Orr's unchecked conditioned response. Stimuli would recall a treasured document commonly referred to as Michigan's Constitution of 1963.

Exemplified by Michigan's Constitution is a promise - a defined governmental benefit pension earned will be given. Workers are not dumb or lazy by any means of the imagination to believe in a promise made by Michigan's founding document.

Republican Attorney General Bill Scheutte vowed to uphold Michigan's Constitutional promise governmental workers will receive a pension guarantee after years of services rendered, despite the City of Detroit's current bankruptcy proceedings.

"Detroit's $20 billion indebtedness is simply staggering," Schuette said in a press release. 
"Equally staggering is the financial uncertainty of pension benefits relied upon by Michigan seniors living on fixed incomes and anticipating a safe and secure retirement after a lifetime of work." 
Schuette cited Article 9, section 24 of Michigan's constitution as "crystal clear crystal clear in stating that pension obligations may not be 'diminished or impaired.
Using a bit of condition response after stimulation, Kevyn Orr is a temporary Michigan transplant via an Emergency Management appointment by Governor Rick Snyder. With such, Orr must choose better words reacting to stimuli describing Michigan workers in the future.

Orr should never describe again governmental workers as lazy or dumb for demanding Michigan's Constitution stand by words written our founding document.

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