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Government Unions. Will the States Crush Them and Survive. Or Not and Die?

19 Feb

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Our states are in a financial mess for many reasons.  Chief among them is pure and simple.  OVER SPENDING.  Over spending is pretty easy to understand.  You spend more money than you take in.

Our need for self gratification and getting what we want right now makes us loose sight of what is happening to our budget. That is caused by a lack of concern or more significantly a lack of restraint.   Many of us can get away with racking up our credit card bills until a collection agency gets on our backs.  It isn’t pretty when that happens.  Then somehow we find a way, often a very painful way of getting out of the pickle we’ve made for ourselves.

But governments are quite different.  And different levels of governments have different options available.  The federal government doesn’t really have a budget, though it likes to think it does.  It can just keep borrowing, or printing more money.  State governments have budgets that they must at hear to.  Even so, states find tricky ways to get around their budgets, namely take on debt that won’t show up until long after our politicians die off or are out of office.

So where do unions fit into the picture?  Well, they are masters at convincing governments to take deals that will increase the wages or benefits for their members without having to pay the piper.  The biggest “sleeper” budget busters are public employee retirement plans.  The unions bargain for more and more guaranteed retirement benefits in exchange for salary increases, or at least not as much of an increase as they dreamed for.

The states (and feds too) have caved in to unions for far too long.  The recent recession has now brought the general public up to speed on just what has been going on.  Last November they said: enough is enough.  It’s time to pay the piper.

Now listen as the unions cry foul.  Time will tell just how loud they will yell, or I’m afraid just how violent they will get.  In the past, union members were not queasy about applying  violence.  Government workers aren’t as brutish as teamsters, but how they are reacting in Greece, Great Britain, etc. shows they aren’t above it.

The public must keep the pressure on state legislators to “force” them decisively reduce the power the unions have or eliminate them altogether.  If they don’t our country is doomed, at least as a democracy.  Quite frankly, I don’t think the unions would mind that at all.  Isn’t that their basic premises?  Collectively they will redistribute wealth and power.  Yes, to them, socialism is a pretty nice option to replace our form of government.

Keep an eye on the next few days and weeks.  It will be interesting.

 

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