Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Patt Morrison for

Patt Morrison for August 19, 2011

Segments From This Episode

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UC opts out of public salary database & gives $140 million in raises: justifiable or egregious?

In the era of austerity, where spending on government programs from military to the education is being scaled back, giving out raises to public employees just doesn’t look very good. It also doesn’t look great to withhold the salaries of those employees from a public database that is meant to promote transparency. But the University of California has justification for both actions, both of which they have done in the past two days. Yesterday UC announced $140 million in raises for nonunion employees across the system, as part of routine annual merit increases that the UC argues is necessary to retain top notch university workers. This morning UC said they were opting-out of participating in a public database of salaries, organized by State Controller John Chiang in an effort to bring transparency to the pay of all public employees. The reasons UC won’t provide salary data to the controller: it can’t afford to arrange for detailed salary information in the way the controller wants it, plus the UC already maintains a list of salary employees. The controller’s database has participation from every other state agency, from cities to counties to irrigation districts and the California State University system; the UC system is the only state agency that has not complied. Are raises justifiable when students have been asked to pay several years of increasing tuitions; is opting-out of a salary database justifiable if UC says they can’t afford to pull it together?

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Free debit cards swiped away: banks starting to charge monthly fees for debit cards

In an era of relentless bank fees, it seemed the one sure bet to remain free for use were debit cards. The ATM cards that could be used like a credit card, they have become among the most used banking tools in the industry—easy, reliable and up until now, free. Like all good things it seems like the principle of free debit cards has come to an end: starting in October in five states, Wells Fargo will charge customers $3 per month if they use their debit card to make purchases. Customers can avoid the fee if they don’t use their card or by signing up for certain checking accounts; JP Morgan Chase has been testing out a $3 monthly charge for its debit card customers in Wisconsin, and other smaller banks are also starting to implement similar fees. This can all be traced back to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, passed last year, that among other things capped the amount that banks can charge merchants in “swipe fees” for using debit cards. Those fees are capped at about 21 cents per transaction, down from an average of 44 cents per transaction. It’s natural for banks to go looking elsewhere to make up for that lost revenue and they have apparently turned to the pockets of their clients. Free debit cards aren’t the only unpleasant change for consumers, debit card rewards programs are being eliminated. If your bank eventually starts to charge you for using a debit card, will you close down the account or simply pay the $3/month to avoid the hassle?

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Patt Morrison for September 7, 2012

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Patt Morrison for September 6, 2012

It’s old home day at the Democratic Convention... that is, if your home is California. The Golden State’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, southern California Congresswoman Judy Chu, and actor Richard Schiff, he is of "The West Wing" and a new political show called "Chasing the Hill." Plus, a post game analysis of former President Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic troops.

Patt Morrison for September 5, 2012

We’ll hear the First Lady’s speech but what does her body language say? We’ll be reading it. And, what party muckety mucks are keeping away from President Obama and staying home from the Democrats’ big dance? We’ll do the Charlotte two step.

Patt Morrison for September 4, 2012

How do the conventions look to the rest of the world? And how well do foreigners understand the electoral college? We’re polyglot with the foreign press in Charlotte. And, what did Nancy Pelosi tell Comedy Congress about Clint Eastwood and his chair?

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