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Terribly whiny for a monopoly…

February 21, 2011

Found an interesting article – admittedly not super pro-union, but reveals the heart of one of the major debates in Wisconsin: From National Affairs

public-sector unions have over their private-sector counterparts is their relative freedom from market forces….In the public sector, though, government is the monopoly provider of many services, eliminating any market pressures that might keep unions’ demands in check…

Public-sector unions have automatic access to politicians through the collective-bargaining process, while other interest groups must fight for such entrée. …most interest groups must devote a great deal of time and effort to fundraising; public-sector unions, on the other hand, enjoy a steady, reliable revenue stream, as union dues are deducted directly from members’ paychecks (often by government, which drastically reduces the unions’ administrative costs).

And if you add to that the fact that (NRO): “most government employees work in non-competitive fields where their employer has a monopoly”

Well, it’s a sweet deal for the union coming to an end. They have to work harder for their monopoly influence power. Of course, I’ve never known a true Woodstock 1960’s ex-hippee let facts get in the way of a good old protest against “the man” get in the way…which is maybe explained by this mention in the first article:

With poor prospects in the ultra-competitive private sector, government work is increasingly desirable for those with limited skills; at the opposite end of the spectrum, the wage compression imposed by unions and civil-service rules makes government employment less attractive to those whose abilities are in high demand…government employment “caters more to the security-craver than the risk-taker.”

In other words, the most talented workers who have the most innovative skills don’t go into government work, but it’s a good option for the more lower skilled. Now we know where the politics of class envy come from….

What’s really stinky about this entire deal is that if the money isn’t found – which the state constitution requires – union members get laid off. But why would the ex-Woodstock hippee protest generation allow that to get in their way? After all, THEY’ve got the seniority, so it’s no skin off their nose. Let their kids get laid off. Or their grandkids

The worst generation’s war on Wisconsin: Any way you slice it, baby boom leaders are saying to the young, “We want ours, and we can make you pay for it.”


4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 8:35 am

    Well, this ex-Woodstock 1960s hippie agrees with you, Lynn!

  2. Ellen D. permalink
    February 22, 2011 11:31 am

    Very interesting article in the New York Times. Amazingly, some people who belong to private unions are beginning to question the need for public employees unions.

    “Among the top five employers here are the county, the schools and the city. And that was enough to make Mr. Hahan, a union man from a union town, a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker’s sweeping proposal to cut the benefits and collective-bargaining rights of public workers in Wisconsin, a plan that has set off a firestorm of debate and protests at the state Capitol. He says he still believes in unions, but thinks those in the public sector lead to wasteful spending because of what he sees as lavish benefits and endless negotiations. ”

    The full link is:

    I was surprised to see this article in the NYT.

  3. Lynn Comp permalink*
    February 21, 2011 5:24 pm

    Wow. Just wow. So frustrating….and we’ve in a way “sainted” government employees and civil servants in a way that perhaps they don’t deserve. Chris Christie had to remind a police officer who ‘after all the pension contributions he had to make’ only got a raise of $4 that 9% of the rest of the state get NO checks. And police officers aren’t making $30k in New Jersey….
    I really don’t understand the “get mine & suck the life out of the community I live in” mentality. When was it EVER smart to pee in your own bathwater?!?

  4. February 21, 2011 3:00 pm

    This matches my experience. I was sought out to provide advice and training to government employees, and I did this one week a month for a long time. It was interesting to see the attitudes and approaches to work encouraged by this environment. Some of the people, certain young ones, I had the feeling could still be transplanted into the private sector and be able to make the transition, as traumatic as it would no doubt be. But for most of them, there was no likelihood that this was even possible.

    The team leader — the person who I theoretically reported to, but rarely saw — had a large sign hung up in his office which was the first thing you saw when going to see him. It read:

    “If at first you don’t succeed, get a government job. Then you don’t have to try anymore.”

    It annoyed me then, nearly two decades ago, and it still does.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

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