Posts Tagged ‘public employee unions’

the State against the people

June 25, 2016

It’s hard for me to imagine that the next four years will be on balance better for the public at large, whoever becomes President of the United States. The shift toward government at all levels as the main driver for most aspects of American life, whether education, business, family, spiritual practice, etc., seems to me to lead inevitably toward greater tension between the rulers and the ruled. We’ve entered a phase where “the common good” is defined by the state as what’s best for it rather than as what’s actually best for the citizenry. Examples like Wisconsin’s from a few years ago show that there is still a recognition among many that there are limits to what should be granted to government and its employees, but overall I’m afraid too many people are too willing to turn over power to the centralized government rather than be responsible for their own welfare.

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when Chris Christie was rising

June 23, 2016

I kind of miss the Chris Christie of the early part of this decade.

FDR was right

January 13, 2015

Government employees should not be able to bargain collectively for wages and benefits. It has led to the pension crisis in this country that is going to cause enormous amounts of upheaval and civil disruption. Stephen Moore’s account of what’s going on in Scranton, Penn., is one example, though the number of examples from California make the point more vivid.

My current hometown, Omaha, Neb., for all its midwestern sensibility, has allowed its public employee pensions to get out of control, becoming what Warren Buffett described as a “gigantic financial tapeworm” eating up the resources of its host, the city government, funded of course by the taxpaying private citizens. There does seem to be signs of hopeful progress, as at least one of the unions has agreed to a new contract with pension reforms starting in January 2015. But nationwide, it doesn’t seem the problem is generally improving as a function of government reforms; recent stock market returns have helped, but that’s not a very reliable plan.

The question that nags at me as a citizen, of course, is what happens when the next crash comes and cities start failing?