how u spel deficet?

So the Chicago Public Day Care System’s wardens—who, on average, earn $76,000 a year—are striking because the 16% pay increase over four years offered by the city just won’t cut it. Meanwhile, the Chicago school system has a dropout rate that’s close to 50%. But if you question the right of public sector union workers to have a guaranteed job for life and cushy pensions, you’re “playing political games on the backs of our children,” or something like that.

I’m not anti-union, strictly speaking, but between the strike in Chicago and the public sector unions in California driving the state into bankruptcy, it’s not all that hard to see where this is going. With our tax bills, we’re feeding an ever-expanding public sector whose unions have no qualms at all about blackmailing everyone else for 16% pay increases. (Remember—that money isn’t out of some mystical Chicago city money bin, it comes out of the paychecks of everyone else.) Don’t want to pony up For The Children™? Here are 400,000 kids on the streets—good luck finding daycare.

Meanwhile, Joe and Jane Taxpayer get shafted twice. They get to contribute an ever-increasing portion of their paycheck to enlarge the public sector, and that public sector’s busywork usually involves nickel-and-diming Joe and Jane and gagging them with red tape.

7 thoughts on “how u spel deficet?

  1. I’m having a tough time blaming the unions. With inflation being between 5 to 10 percent every year, 16 percent over four years results in a loss of purchasing power. My non-union plumber and auto mechanic have no problem raising their rates and charging me 60 to 80 dollars an hour. Even if the job takes fifteen minutes, it’s a 1 hour minimum. Sooner or later, workers are going to realize that nothing gets made, sold or bought without workers and then we’ll get nation-wide strikes like those in France. Repeal NAFTA and GATT, or face the music.

  2. The problem with public sector unions is the contract negotiations are often sweetheart deals. The union negotiators say to the local elected officials that are supposed to be managing the budget of the political entity in question, “if you give us a hard time, we have a large election fund that we can send to your opponent, or we can help you. Your choice.” Since the official’s salary isn’t tied to the company’s financial performance as in the private sector, the incentive to be tough isn’t real large. The stories of the shenanigans pulled in Wisconsin by the teachers and SEIU unions are truly mind-boggling in their audacity. For instance, the teachers’ union had its own health insurance company, and the locals often negotiated sole source insurance with their company into the contract, even though it might not be the best, or even the cheapest. The most egregious example is the SEIU getting the state medicaid agency to identify parents of special needs children who received state aid as “health care workers” and thus required to join the union. And so their medicaid benefits were reduced by the amount of union dues. All automatically, and without explanation. What a racket!

  3. How about this: give ’em their pay raise but only bring back fifty percent of the teachers (to match the graduation rate). There would be a high amusement factor watching the union decide who to keep.

    Of course the logical approach is to fire them all and start fresh. Judging by the dismal results so far, the kids wouldn’t be missing much. And if the graduation rate drops lower, they can always change the city name to West Detroit.

  4. JEF- It’s worse than that around these parts: The Fire Union managed to get it’s former leadership appointed to management …. now it negotiates with itself.