03 March 2010

Zombie US States Follow Lead of Zombie King

The history of public sector unions goes back to 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed executive order 10988 allowing unionization of the federal workforce. This changed everything in the American political system. President Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the unrelenting rise of the unionized public workforce in many states and cities. _Mish

US states have fallen into an inescapable financial quagmire, owing largely to their growing debt obligations to public employee unions. This problem is devastatingly unsolvable as long as public sector unions are allowed the same collective bargaining rights as private sector unions. As long as public sector unions can get friendly legislators and executives elected, the exploding Ponzi scheme will continue to the bitter end.

The problem in the US goes back to the early 1960s, under green rookie president John Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy thought he was doing the right thing, but he was never completely sure. And although Mr. Kennedy is long gone, his legacy of union-instigated exploding debt has just begun.

In 1962, Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, which allowed collective bargaining and gave unions other powers.
The same year Kennedy also gave public-sector unions a tool to justify higher wages by signing the Salary Reform Act of 1962, which established that there be "comparability" of public-sector pay to pay in the private sector.
One senses that even Kennedy wasn't sure he was right. The executive order, for example, excluded the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and any other office performing security functions should its head deem that collective bargaining would endanger national security. One of the slowest federal agencies to obey the order and extend recognition to unions was the Justice Department, headed by President Kennedy's brother Robert.
Observers understood what Kennedy had done. Later presidents might move against public unions – as Reagan did against PATCO, the air traffic controllers' union. But they couldn't
This reluctance to allow union bargaining in sensitive areas is germane now because the American Federation of Government Employees is petitioning for the right to organize the 40,000 airport security workers across the country.
The public-sector unions recently surpassed private-sector unions in membership. And the lengths to which Americans have gone to accommodate public-sector unions is extensive and artful. _OCRegister
There is only one governor in the entire US who seems to have the cojones to try to turn back the killing tide of public unions: Chris Christie of New Jersey. Christie's courage is rare among public officials, and public sector unions will do everything they can to destroy his effort to save New Jersey.

A recent poll revealed that 87 percent of Americans are aware of and concerned about runaway public debt. This is pretty amazing, since it's hard to believe that 87 percent of Americans would be aware of any single thing no matter how important.

[Public employees] aren't to blame for the system in which they work. This is not an attack on them. But when the school board in Fairfax County, Va., urges supervisors to raise taxes by $81.9 million, as reported by the Washington Examiner, and admits under questioning that the need for that is mostly because of exploding pension and medical benefit costs -- well, what Reason Magazine's Nick Gillespie calls "the coming war over public-sector pensions" is getting close, very close. _BaltimoreSun
What's to be done? Here is one person's idea:

So what's done is done, and there is not much that we can do about it — except work until we are 80 to help fund cruises for folks that retired at 55.

But rest assured that when this train finally arrives, it really will run us over — just like Greece, but much closer to home.

Because standing behind all of this mess is biggest black hole of them all: your Uncle Sam, sort of like a half-assed zombie king... But that's a hair-raising tale I'll save for another day.

Until then what you need to realize is this: The status quo can not possibly be maintained. _SeekingAlpha

"The status quo cannot be maintained." That qualifies as the understatement of the year. The question is, "how badly will things fall apart when they do indeed fall?" It is possible that the longer we put off the reckoning, the more catastrophic will be the fallout.

More at Pension Tsunami and Free Enterprise Nation

And, can the US pay its $99.2 TRILLION(!) dollar pension obligation?

Update 4 March 2010: New York State competes for Zombie State Award


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Blogger Bruce Hall said...

Perhaps Sen. Bunning was trying to tell us something?

Thursday, 04 March, 2010  
Blogger Ugh said...

The folks I know in the public sector by and large work hard and do a good job within the confines of their positions, but the benefits they enjoy far out strip anything my private sector friends will ever see. That's a fact.

Thursday, 04 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Craig, you are probably exposed to a higher class of bureaucrat than most.

Government work is most often treated as an entitled sinecure.

As the man said, there is not much to do about it except to continue working until the age of 80 to pay for tropical cruises for former bureaucrats who retired at age 55.

Saturday, 06 March, 2010  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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