Google Analytics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I am sure you know that there is a great brohaaaa going on in Wisconsin between the Governor and the public employee's unions.  While I don't endorse the Governor's stupid hard ball tactics, he does raise a question that needs some serious and sober consideration.

For the past twenty-thirty years, public employee's unions have put extreme pressure on legislatures everywhere in the developed world for every increasing benefits.  When industrial unions demand increases, the money can all be tied back to some sort of improvements in profits.  Not so with public employee unions.

So we find hair dressers in Greece who can retire at age 50 with full benefits because they work in a "dangerous profession".  And we find prison guards in California who can retire with full pensions at 50 while they make as much as $150,000 a year.  And neither job needs higher education.

And everywhere, every year,  the legislature "paid" the demands by kicking the can down the road, and guess what, we are now at the end of the road.

I watched this process from the inside of the California State University system for a quarter of a century.  Every time the faculty (and others) needed a raise, the legislature put it off by sweetening the retirement program.  They figured, rightly, that some other future legislature would have to figure out how to pay the bill when it comes due.

Now we need to figure out what needs doing to fix the situation, but we need to do it with civil tones and reason able behavior.  None of which I can see anywhere.

No comments: