“Public” Employees meet “The Piper”…
Because, it’s time to pay him.
Schadenfreude is just such a wonderful thing. As a private sector kinda guy who believes in the profit motive, I’ve pretty much always had a huge problem with gummit employees. And I feel somewhat remiss in not putting employees in scare quotes because next to lawyer jokes, stories about lazy, arrogant, unproductive gummit employees are in everyone’s quiver of stuff to say when the room gets quiet. The difference is that lawyer jokes are funny and gummit employee stories aren’t.
Well, things they are a changin’ on that there front, thanks in part to the economic expertise of Mr.Hope&Change and his crack economic team. The commoners, the little people, are figuring out that the lazy leeches who are paid from their tax dollars by all levels of gummit are bleeding us dry and we’re getting fundamentally nothing from it. The real fun part to all of this is that politicians, at least at the local level for now, seem to be getting the message that the natives are restless and are laying in a stock of torches, pitchforks, tar & feathers and rope. Even the New York Times is catching the drift.
FLEMINGTON, N.J. — Ever since Marie Corfield’s confrontation with Gov. a YouTube classic, she has received a stream of vituperative e-mails and postings.this fall over the state’s education cuts became
“People I don’t even know are calling me horrible names,” said Ms. Corfield, an art teacher who had pleaded the case of struggling teachers. “The mantra is that the problem is the unions, the unions, the unions.”
Across the nation, a rising irritation with public employee unions is palpable, as a wounded economy has blown gaping holes in state, city and town budgets, and revealed that some public pension funds dangle perilously close to bankruptcy.
You might remember when Ms. Corfield got snotty with Governor Christie last year at a public forum and got her [self] ripped up one side and down the other to the applause of the crowd. And she seems incapable of understanding how or why people would go after her. Well dear, the answer might have something to do the perception that you’re an arrogant public employee who costs the taxpayers of New Jersey about $90,000 for a part time job. Go figure. And take note that it’s not likely to get better for you either.
In California, New York, Michigan and New Jersey, states where public unions wield much power and the culture historically tends to be pro-labor, even longtime liberal political leaders have demanded concessions — wage freezes, benefit cuts and tougher work rules.
It is an angry conversation. Union chiefs, who sometimes persuaded members to take pension sweeteners in lieu of raises, are loath to surrender ground. Taxpayers are split between those who want cuts and those who hope that rising tax receipts might bring easier choices.
And a growing cadre of political leaders and municipal finance experts argue that much of the edifice of municipal and state finance is jury-rigged and, without new revenue, perhaps unsustainable. Too many political leaders, they argue, acted too irresponsibly, failing to either raise taxes or cut spending.
A brutal reckoning awaits, they say.
Well, it IS the New York Times and at least they are directionally right. But I think they missed a couple of things. Foremost among ’em, methinks that taxpayers are NOT split. They’re fed up. And as far as political leaders acting irresponsibly, yep they did, and it was both parties. But the irresponsible part wasn’t “failing to raise taxes” is was not controlling and then not cutting spending. But The Times does get it right in the end, the day of reckoning is neigh and it will be brutal. The really brutal part will be when these “public employees” get their panties in a wad and go looking for real work in the private sector. As an employer, I can guarantee you that a gummit job on a resume is only slightly less damaging to your prospects for employment than a stretch in the pen as a child molester. Slightly.
There are a couple of other stories in the media from around the country on this subject, I’ll highlight a couple and they deserve a full read so you can really understand that public employees are in trouble. And in places you might not guess. Like Wisconsin. And Pennsylvania.
MADISON, Wis. — In preparation for Monday’s inauguration of the new governor, Scott Walker, red, white and blue bunting has been draped around the Capitol’s echoing rotunda. Lawmakers are unpacking files in their newly assigned offices. And state workers are fretting.
“What does this bring? What does it mean? Where are we going here?” Marty Beil, the leader of a union that represents 22,000 of Wisconsin’s corrections officers, maintenance workers, game wardens and others, said the other day. “State employees feel like they are the target of all the slings and the arrows and the bullets that the new administration is already throwing.”
You feel like you’re a target? Good.
FOREST CITY, Pa. — Ralph Miranda was looking for eggnog here the other day at the state liquor store, a dated and somewhat forlorn little shop with no name, just the Soviet-style designation #5801. When the store manager told him they were out, Mr. Miranda muttered, “That’s why you privatize.”
“The Soviet-style designation”. Perfect. What business do states have in running what should be real businesses anyway. Although I will admit the when we lived in New Hampshire decades ago, the state did a good job of running state liquor stores. Mostly because neighboring states had high sales taxes and specific taxes on liquor. And New Hampshire built huge state liquor stores right on the interstate highways about fifty feet from the border. The parking lots were always full of out-of-state plates.
And finally, in my home state of Arizona…
- Public workers taking blame in budget crises (msnbc.msn.com)
- Time to Rethink Public Employee Unions (powerlineblog.com)
- GOP Guvs Ready to Take on Greedy Public Employee Unions (chicagonow.com)
- You: Republican governors target public employee unions (latimes.com)