26 February 2011

US Public Sector Unions' Descent Into Chaos

Nationwide, state and local government pension plans are suffering a $1 to $3 trillion dollar underfunding. State governments are sinking, in large part due to impossible commitments to public sector unions.

Until now, no one has been courageous enough to point out the impossibility of meeting the exponentially rising taxpayer commitments to public sector union warchests. Until now. Both taxpayers and a few governors and legislators are waking up to this harsh reality.

But unions and their minions are not waking up. Quite the opposite. They are descending into incomprehensible chaos. As if the threat of violence could possibly change the fiscal facts. Only criminals and fools take that tack in the face of the dark budgetary winds that are blowing.


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Blogger Unknown said...

Or, the state could simply implement taxes for the majority of businesses who do not pay them as well as re-negotiate the debt to balance the budget. Instead, they're using the "fiscal crisis" to bust the unions, the only remaining defense most have against corporate backed governments. It should also be noted that the WI pension is actually doing quite well and isn't the cause of that particular state's fiscal crisis.

Saturday, 26 February, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Interesting. Matt, do you have the numbers to support your point of view?

Mr. Obama's old campaign organisation bussed large numbers of professional activists in, at the same time the political machine in Illinois helped facilitate the running away of Wisconsin senators into Illinois. Nasty business, that.

It is easy to understand that union officials want to keep the mandatory dues money flowing into their warchests. But is there any justification for establishing a permanent tax supported political power broker class in that manner? Difficult to see the rationale unless you are part of the political structure benefiting.

Teachers and other public sector workers should have the choice whether to support the union, every single year. There is a very good reason why FD Roosevelt and other savvy politicians feared giving public sector unions a chokehold over the electorate.

Saturday, 26 February, 2011  
Blogger gtg723y said...

Or the state could declare bankruptcy stop all payments while it is negotiated by a judge, lay of thousands and then give pennies on the dollar for the retirement benefits and slash the pay of the few that have jobs. That punishment would be far more fitting. I don't feel sorry for those people, they pay nothing towards their own health care and their own retirement, its theirs why should others have to pay for it? If you look at the root of this problem it was initiated by Government interference, as are all the problems in America. To quote despair.com "Government: If you think our problems are bad just wait until you see our solutions."

Sunday, 27 February, 2011  
Blogger Sojka's Call said...

I consider myself somewhat of a social liberal though a very extreme fiscal conservative - I also can identify with many Libertarian principals so over my lifetime in many cases have sided with the unions. In the case of WI I just cannot see their side at all. That state is trying to forestall a crisis and so you end up with comments like Matt's post. Everyone wants to wait for the crisis before reacting. Personally, I believe the gov't workers in this country have been given way too much in health and pension benefits. They way exceed what even a small minority of people get in the private sector. Unions of public sector workers just seems completely wrong to me and all this talk about how they need the protection from management - it just does not pass any kind of sanity check for me. I see all kinds of retired gov't workers who retire in the 50's and live like millionaires - I am not exaggerating. With the pensions and health care they get it would take 2 - 3 million dollars in the bank to equal the way they live. That is not right. And, then when public sector managers try to do anything smart to save money like combining jobs or eliminating positions or getting rid of people who don't want to work anymore the unions are there to keep everything like it was 20 years ago.

Sunday, 27 February, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Good points.

But if you look at it from the standpoint of a social activist, it becomes a matter of the redistribution of both power and money from the private, productive classes to the government dependent classes.

Such redistribution is a step on the way to breaking down the market apparatus which humiliated European communism so badly, and made leftists look bad.

It is payback by dedicated leftists against the hated capitalist system. That is their idea of justice, by definition.

The system must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt in a more perfect manner, so to speak.

Sunday, 27 February, 2011  

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

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