How Public Sector Unions Are Destroying America
Public sector unions are exploiting tax payers and crippling state budgets.
How They are Doing it
Public sector unions are crippling state budgets. In this time of economic upheaval, public sector unions are demanding more benefits, bigger pensions and better health coverage at the expense of overburdened tax payers. Government employees do not innovate or create wealth, so how can many politicians justify such lavish benefits to public sector unions, that the private sector can only dream of?
Politicians simply cannot make a rational statement about public sector unions and their bloated benefits. However, politicians are experts at rationalization and will tell you that government employees are hard working, decent Americans, while completely avoiding the question on public sector unions and their benefits. President Obama, in an interview with Charles Benson from an NBC affiliate in Milwaukee had this to say, " Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally seems like more of an assault on unions. I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends."
Government employees are our neighbors, and some may be our friends, but is anyone actually arguing for picking up your neighbors health insurance premiums and pension contributions, while they contribute a less percentage of what you are required to pay? If your shaking your head, then you are probably living in the wrong neighborhood like many Americans. So, how bad is the situation?
Dennis Cauchon of USA TODAY, said that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average federal salary for 2008 was $67,691, while average private sector salary was only $60,046, which is a $7,645 difference. Federal employees are typically paid more than private sector employees. While the average federal salary has typically been increasing year to year the benefits granted to them remains incredibly high. Government health care plans, pension and other federal benefits, amounts to roughly $40,785 per worker a year, while private sector benefits are at a meager $9,882 per worker a year. Individual state benefits vary, but the majority give roughly the same amount of benefits that federal employees receive.
How can public service unions can get away with this? It is no surprise that public service unions receive a large amount of benefits in exchange for votes and political contributions. For example, Wisconsin currently allows union dues to be collected through payroll taxes. These unions strong arm you to resign if you do not join their union. Ever wonder why we have secret ballot elections? We do this so organizations such as the Republican party, Democrat party or other political groups do not single you out and coerce you into voting for a particular candidate or referendum. Public service unions seem to despise this concept, which is not a surprise given that the structure of these unions typically has a top to bottom command structure in which the union bosses make most of the decisions. These types of blatent actions are tolerated by politicians, because it helps guarantee them votes and contributions come election time.
Tax payers are generally not represented in the negotiations with public sector unions. Since we ultimately foot the bill for the generous benefits given to unions, why are we not represented during these negotiations. We rarely have a say with regards to unions and our tax dollars, which is a serious problem within our government. The politicians we elect to represent our interests as tax payers have ultimately failed us. Luckily, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
The state and federal deficit can be brought under control. Wisconsin's Governor Walker, is a perfect example of an elected official acting on behalf of tax payers. I only hope that Governor Walker's charge inspire others to take action against out of control government spending and rent-seeking. Creating a better future for our children is no easy task, but fiscal responsibility is absolutely essential and must always be taken into full acount.
James Sherk, "Wisconsin's Governor Walker Takes on Public-Sector Unions," National Review Online.
Dennis Cauchon , "Federal pay ahead of private industry," USA TODAY.