Thursday, March 3, 2011

The battle between the public employees and the taxpayers.

The growing battle between public employee unions and taxpayers is getting out of hand. On one side are the state employees who think you owe them a livelihood, full health benefits, and a stout retirement income. On the other side are the producers, the taxpayers who've had no voice in government for decades.

The main reason so many state and local governments are bankrupt, or on the verge of bankruptcy, is the combination of government-run monopolies and government-employee unions. Government-employee unions have vastly more power than do private-sector unions because the entities they work for are typically monopolies.

When the employees of a grocery store, for example, go on strike and shut down the store, consumers can simply shop elsewhere, and the grocery-store management is perfectly free to hire replacement workers. In contrast, when a city teachers’ or garbage-truck drivers’ union goes on strike, there is no school and no garbage collection as long as the strike goes on. In addition, teachers’ tenure (typically after two or three years in government schools) and civil service regulations make it extremely costly if not virtually impossible to hire replacement workers.

Since the taxpayers are overtaxed already, the government has to finance the public sector by increasing debt, inflation, and printing money.

It cannot continue forever. We have waiting too long. We must do something now.

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