It’s obvious that pensions for future government workers are being cut, and will be cut further. But California state and local governments’ unfunded liability for future pensions now is so large, $884 billion, that those already retired will see their pensions cut as well.
It will be very difficult, politically, for politicians in a California town to spend 70% or 80% of their budget on retirees they never met and that often live in other states. Especially when many of those are young enough to continue working.
Is this unjust? I’m not sure that matters. If they don’t have the money, something has to give. But philosophically, I’ve got no problem ditching pensions that were political payoffs. Sure a “contract” is a “contract” but I, as a citizen, am not interested in contracts made between corrupt public unions and corrupt politicians bought by corrupt public unions.
Public money needs to be spent on the public good. That test doesn’t end just because some union boss and the politician he owns signs a “contract”.
If I had to protest and snow was on the ground…
Or if I had to take a day off work to watch my kids when they should have been at school….
Or if a teacher with a better paycheck, security, insurance, pension and schedule than me had the temerity to strike.
Apparently, more effective than local NY region governmental plows
An emailer sent me a story about citizens bitching about New York roads being unplowed. His subject “Citizens Demand More Government”.
I wouldn’t put it that way, nor do I see it that way.
There are things government can and should do. Like roads. Like defense. Like things specified for it in the Constitution.
What I take away from stories like what is coming out of New York’s snow is that if the government can’t keep the roads going, which is one of the few things it actually should be doing, why is it DOING ANYTHING ELSE?
BTW: Those of you familiar with the joy of local public unions won’t be surprised that much of the problem turns out to have been a ham-fisted union protest. I have this mental picture of fat kielbasa eating mustached fools with that irritating New York suburb accent saying “that’ll teach the f****ers”.
Bad idea dudes. We “learned” but not the lesson you intended.
The basic problem with snow plowing is that it COULD be done privately, but is done by government. We don’t have any choice. When I had a plow guy that didn’t show up at my place in Vermont, I fired him. So can we fire these union morons? No. And that is why their service sucks.
Brave. But they have a union for this sort of thing, don’t they?
Today is December 21st, 2010. Nine years have passed since 9/11/2001. Democrats have controlled the Congress for much that the intervening 9 years.
Yet now, 9 years later, they MUST pass a bill costing billions, with who knows what pork or other nonsense buried in it in the dying days of a lame duck senate. Waiting a couple more weeks, or even a couple more months WILL COST LIVES… they claim.
Democrats, after 9 years, are in an all fired hurry. I don’t trust them, and my mistrust is WELL EARNED.
I suspect, if you scratch slightly, you will find this bill helps unions avoid costs to their members. Pushing union obligations onto the public is a major goal of the Democrats.
Halt this bill. Reconsider, with level heads, in the New Year.
Proposition B is a rare breeze of sanity coming from San Francisco. It asks San Francisco city employees to pay a larger part of their pension and benefits contributions. Needless to say… they ain’t happy about that!
Campaign contribution disclosures show the largest union donor for this period was the Police Officers Association, which contributed $200,000 on October 14. The second-largest donor was the Service Employee union, which gave $100,000 on October 13 and nearly $300,000 in recent months. The Municipal Attorneys’ union gave $50,000, as did the fire fighters. Eight individual San Francisco deputy sheriffs gave small amounts that totaled $1,155.
I don’t mind public employees having organizations for credit unions, or sharing benefit administration costs, or even for having lawyers to defend them against frivolous lawsuits. But I DO not think it safe, or wise, to let them affect elections other than in their individual right to vote. They should not be permitted to organize for election purposes.
These unions epitomize the short term thinking that will cause their members to suffer greatly. No doubt San Francisco has more police, firefighters, and other employees than it needs. I’d say, fine, you don’t want to contribute to your pensions, how about you contribute to LEAVING and DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT. I’d fire there asses based proportionally on how much they donated to act against the common interest. Put that in your pension pipe and smoke it silly greedy self-centered public sector unions.
Of course with Gavin Newsome as their handsome but idiotic mayor San Francisco has the classic fox guarding the henhouse situation.
"Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."
On the perils of letting a collection of foxes guard the henhouse.
From this excellent article about the threat of public unions in National Affairs.
Which job gets the lifetime pension?
I basically agree with Gavin McInnes take that firefighters have an easy, very rarely dangerous job, and do not deserve the lavish pension, pay and retirement benefits they get.
I’d suggest cutting the pay and benefits til the entrance tests don’t have a waiting list.
This is not to say that some aren’t brave on occasion, but like most cops that don’t use their gun in the line of duty, most fireman never get a chance to be 9/11 brave.
We need to cut public costs, and no job is sacred.
Comes in bulk, union members
The Democrats want to bail out private union pension funds to the tune of…. infinity.
Although right now taxpayers could possibly be on the hook for $165 billion, the liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.
Sorry… not interested. You’ve already cost the nation too much in productivity, lost jobs, and bailouts. Suck eggs union members.
Mild mannered, til you cross them
Greece has too many civil servants, doing too little unproductive work, earning way to much. But firing them is nigh on impossible. In other words, the rest of Greece is slave to these folks.
The US heads for that territory. California and New York are already there.
I know that Democrats, bought and sold by these unions, don’t really care about the country. So I don’t expect them to do anything about it.
So they should just be fired. Lock stock and barrel. Republicans should be skewered and replaced until we have a set representatives with the balls to cut the rug out from under public sector unions that think we work for them.
The police officer, fire fighter, teacher, and state bureaucrat living next to you may be nice at barbecues, but they are likely your and our countries worst nightmare, and a direct threat to your freedom.
As a protected class with direct access to your wallet, they turn into budget / wallet vampires at night. We need to send representatives that will put a stake in their beastly heart, if we want to survive as the land of the free, not the home of the enslaved.
Apparently, they like donuts too. I know – cheap shot! She earned it.
Democrats owe their soul to big unions. They will gladly sell ours to fund the debt.
Public sector unions should be illegal. And private sector unions should be treated like the big businesses they are.
If they knew then, what they know now…???
Ravenswood, West Virginia, lives on life support after the Kaiser aluminum plant that powered the towns economic rise slowly dies. Should the other major plant in town close, it could become a modern day ghost town.
Why would the plant close down? Well, it is old and refurbishing it costs. Demand is down in the recession. And the plant is unionized and has high labor costs relative to foreign and some domestic operations.
Kaiser’s Ravenswood plant created a middle class where there was none. When the United Steelworkers Union was voted in after the plant opened in 1957, the hourly wage jumped from $1.78 to $3.25.
This isn’t the first time Ravenwood workers have been out of work for a long time – twenty years ago they were locked out for nineteen months in a union labor dispute with the company.
That should have been a clue that the company, and the market, viewed their plant as “optional”. That should have been their clue to scale back their demands on the company. To work like the dickens to make it a better, more efficient plant. And to broaden their career options
Dave Guthrie, 51, says he’s glad he was laid off because now he has the time, money and motivation to go to college. He wants to be a traveling nurse, working short-term contracts around the country, far from what he calls the plant’s "us-vs.-them" labor-management dynamic.
Will 19 years of “good times” makes up for being jobless now? Will it make up for not leaving a strong town to their kids?
It seems a bad trade to me. I’d be mad at the “leaders” that egged it on.
SEIU is also exempt from anti-trust rules. How about changing that?
The House voted to remove antitrust exemptions that health insurance companies have.
I’m not sure, exactly, how the exemption helps companies that are largely state based. The industry claims removing it won’t matter a whole lot.
I’ve got two problems with this. The first is that I don’t like Congress aiming at a particular industry, especially when they largely have political aims not the merit of the actual proposal as their goal.
The second problem is that the anti-trust exemptions unions have causes far more havoc in the economy. Why not just get rid of anti-trust exemptions – period???
Well, we know that the Democrats don’t do anything for the country as a whole, they operate for their constituencies – unions, unproductive, bought off minorities, and terrorists. And we know that the Republicans are too stupid, or timid, or both, to fight for the country.
What a bunch of maroons we have “leading us”. We probably deserve the thumping the next decade is going to give us.
A school superintendent in Rhode Island fired every high school teacher:
Teacher salaries at the high school average $72-78k. Apparently 50% of the students at the school are failing all of their classes, and the graduation rate is also under 50%. In an effort to turn the school around, the superintendent requested some changes be made whereby the school day would be slightly extended, teachers would perform some extra tutoring, etc.
The union balked and refused the terms, so now she is firing the entire teaching staff of the high school and replacing them.
Exactly right. Even places that aren’t doing too bad should put down their public sector unions. Unions, especially public sector ones, pose a huge threat to states and the country. They need to be disbanded.
I’m not, but I’m sure somebody is. Likely suspects include the UAW and Public sector union members.
Perhaps they are the enemy we need to fight even more than Muslims?