The Tyranny of Unions

As we quite rightfully expose and attempt to rid our society of corruption in the corporate and financial sectors, and as we support legislation to root out the excessive influence they have exercised in politics, it is a mistake to allow such efforts to blind us to the reality of corruption in other areas. Over the past 25 years, and especially in the last 10 years, the public sector of the United States has been increasingly controlled by labor unions. At the local and state level, in many cases the power of public employee unions has become near absolute, as they use often mandatory dues from their members to decisively influence political campaigns.

The idea that workers in the public sector should control the public sector, and make or break the careers of politicians who are determining their compensation, is something most people would agree is a conflict of interests. But that is exactly what has happened. The result is government workers receiving pay and benefits far greater than what they ever made historically. In turn this is leading to severe government budget deficits across the United States, resulting in calls for more taxes at a time when small businesses are already struggling.


There is a website called www.pensiontsunami.com that has been tracking one of the most eggregious examples of public sector union influence on our politics and public finance, which is the totally unsustainable pensions being promised public employees. At one time these pensions were a reasonable way for public employees to justify working for less annual salary – but under union pressure, these pensions have been relentlessly increased, often retroactively, at the same time as public employee salaries have also been increased to the point where most public employees – especially nonmanagement employees who are by far the most numerous – are paid far in excess of what they could make in the private sector.

Even now, as the economy slows down, public sector unions continue to demand increased pay and benefits. Here is a smattering of links provided on PensionTsunami’s website just today:

Fiscal Day of Reckoning – Orange County Register:

“…comes today as the [Fullerton City] council votes on a union-approved contract to increase most government workers’ pensions by 25 percent retroactive to the employee’s hire date. Currently, retiring Fullerton employees receive as much as 60 percent of their final year’s pay; the new plan would boost that to 75 percent of final year’s pay.”

Vallejo Unions Cry for More Money – Vallejo Independent Register:

“If you told me I would be a critic of union misbehavior a few years ago I would not have believed you. I am a socially liberal, but fiscally conservative left leaning Democrat. I have always considered unions to be critical and necessary to protect workers from exploitation. I still believe that to some degree, but the level of abuse in Vallejo is beyond anything I could have imagined. The unions have become the exploiters.”

These are just two articles out of usually about a dozen links that are posted every day on PensionTsunami, but they are fairly representative. The phenomenon of union control over local and state governments occurs across the United States, and the financial impact of this is incalculable. It is a huge factor in California’s near bankruptcy. Consider:

(1) Direct wages and current benefits (such 50 or more paid days off per year – not including the common “9/80″ programs which add another 26 paid days off per year) inflate the costs of government by 50% or more, given most of the expense of government is for salaries and wages for government employees (ref. California’s Deficit).

(2) Management’s role is limited by unions, for example, public sector union contracts often require more people present to perform a job than is required. In general, union interests to serve their members are intrinsically in conflict with the public interest. This exacerbates the intrinsic conflict of interest within government agencies that already leads to big government – create dependency, then hire more government workers, and as dependency breeds dependency, hire still more. It is not easy to differentiate between a government program that performs a legitimate need – plenty of those – and programs that create more needs than they alleviate. Having government bureaucrats, through their unions, control our elections, is not a way to make this tough challenge any easier.

(3) Future benefits, such as early retirement, generous pensions, and health care for life, represent costs whose present value (at a discount rate of 3-5%, not 8-12%) must be applied to the limited years unionized public employees work. Many government employees fail to appreciate just how much this adds to what they are actually making per year.

(4) Public employee pension funds are naturally put under huge pressure to overestimate the rates of return they can earn, lulling policymakers into thinking these huge wage and benefit concessions are financially sustainable. In turn these funds are under pressure to ignore (or even lobby in favor of) unsustainable lending practices in order – ironically given they are long term investment funds – to keep their investments delivering high returns in the short term. These pressures become mutually reinforcing and spiral out of control (ref. Inflation or Deflation?).

(5) As unions become more powerful in government, they continue to expand the requirements for companies doing business with the government. Imagine if Californians solved their transportation challenges by hiring a Chinese contractor to build and widen freeways. It might cost 1/10th what it would otherwise cost. Imagine if unions didn’t work hand in hand with environmentalists to block all new construction, thus forcing costs higher and higher – something that also fueled the real estate bubble (ref. Unions Aren’t Green, and CEQA Hijacked).

(6) All of these costs are passed directly to the taxpayers – it might take a while (ref. Bonds are Taxes), but the taxpayer always pays. And there are indirect costs. Try getting health insurance as a small business. The reason rates are so high is partially because the insurance companies have negotiated to provide benefits to public sector unions at discount rates, and they have to recoup those discounts by billing small businesses at far higher rates.

(7) This is perhaps the biggest problem of all, and the reason we cover this issue on a website oriented to environmental issues. Public employee unions influence policy. Despite rail transit being almost always (there are a few cases, yes, where rail transit makes sense) a far less efficient solution to transportation challenges than simply widening roads and adding busses to public transit services, light rail gets built. This is because not only do union contractors build the light rail infrastructure, but they then get to control it. Light rail is a job creation machine for public sector unions.

There are several qualifiers to all this. We are not against the ideals of unions – only the idea that unions should control our government, or the idea that we should reform Wall Street and Corporate America but turn a blind eye to the excessive power of unions (ref. Unions, Ideals vs. Reality). Equally important, we are not libertarians. There is nothing wrong at all with taxpayer supported government services and government financed infrastructure. But it has to be good services, and good infrastructure – i.e., a cost-effective solution to a real need (ref. Green Public Works).

Incoming President Obama has strong ties to unions, although the breadth of his financial support came from such a variety of sources we may yet hope he will adopt a balanced stance. The nightmare scenario is an Obama administration that continues the trajectory we are on, thanks to underregulated unions and extreme environmentalists, where carbon-related regulations and global warming concerns will be used as the pretext to monitor every aspect of our lives, creating a new layer of “green” taxation that will cripple small businesses while the rich get richer and the only way you can survive as a member of the middle class is if you work as a unionized employee for a government entity.

Many people will have a negative reaction to the sentiments expressed here, and that is understandable. But before failing to consider that any of this might be valid, and before failing to consider what might constitute appropriate reform and what might constitute a sustainable financial restructuring for the public sector, consider this: Try to go out and start one of those small businesses. Try to build something, try to develop property, try to get a permit or fill out a fee application, try to hire and manage employees, try to raise financing, try to sell a product. You may find it isn’t as easy as you think. Try to get a job in a successful company in the private sector that pays – taking into account the present value of future benefits – $150K per year – which is what most public employee jobs are worth when you normalize for all the vacation, early retirement, health benefits, and overtime. They aren’t out there. Most everyone respects and appreciates the work done by public sector employees – which makes this a difficult topic to discuss rationally. But unions should care about all workers. And public sector employees should understand the profitable health of the private sector is the only reason they have jobs.

For alternatives to the tyranny of public sector unions and big environmentalism, read Principles of New Suburbanism, A Centrist Agenda for Obama, and Rational Environmentalism, or anything in our Politics category.

Every ship of dreams eventually encounters the rocks of reality.
(Photo: EcoWorld)


15 Responses to “The Tyranny of Unions”
  1. Unions are criminal organizations — in every sense of the word. Union bosses lord it over everyone else, like “godfathers,” without ever getting their hands dirty.

    They must be abolished, and all union bosses should be thrown in jail.

  2. Bull says:

    Well Said ! ………… It is wrong to tax people (Private Sector workers) who make market wages in order to subsidize people (Civil Servants) who, by virtue of their union clout, have been able to negotiate wages and benefits well above the prevailing market.

    Civil Servants are the energizer bunny’s of greed and the self-serving, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, politicians are their enablers.

  3. If you apply the same kind of thinking to Executive pay that is sometimes thousands of times more than rank and file employees it usually draws objections from the same folks that seem to HATE collective bargaining. In my part of the country there are substandard wages for about every kind of work done by working class folks and unions are for the most part not allowed by the state laws. The reality is balance has been lost throughout our society. It is greed gone to seed and all of us want as much as we can get and are willing to get it anyway we can. The problem might be because of BIG: corporations, government , labor and much too often BIG CHURCH. When balance is lost or distorted we all LOSE. Just look at the banking and real-estate sectors the greed and loss of balance are destroying our very existence as a nation. The problem comes from the fact that all organizations have leaders and leaders have power and POWER corrupts. Union bosses are only a mirror image of Corporate Executives and they both are often just simply corrupt

  4. Burt says:

    Union density is much higher in the public sector (35%) than in the private sector (9%). That is the difference – not the employer. Most American workers have not seen their wages grow with recent gains in productivity and corporate profits. If employees want to share in those gains in the form of decent pay and benefits, they should form a union.
    Regards,
    Burt

  5. James says:

    Reading this article has finally given me a forum to complain about the County and State paperwork load I experienced for 6 years working as a psychotherapist intern. I worked with a non-profit that got its funding from the County and State (California) to provide very much needed services to teens taken into a residential facility which provided food, shelter, and schooling as well as psychological and psychiatric services.

    For years I and my fellow interns complained bitterly about the absurd paperwork requirements coming from the government. We were required to constantly provide redundant and often meaningless forms to meet regulations from what we imagined where a scattered array of bureaucratic agents spread out throughout the state, none of whom had any idea that the paperwork they were developing had already been developed by another bureaucrat to cover the same material. Or, the paperwork was developed to assist someone in completing some research project by providing raw data from thousands of kids who were being annoyed by having to complete the same questionnaire over and over and over again throughout the year. Of course, these oppositional kids would provide false answers as a way of expressing their anger at the intrusion, but we were forced to go through the charade of this process over and over again, with no recourse until, I suppose, some researcher had the raw data he needed to justify some grant or whatever.

    The point is these sorts of requirements led to burnout for otherwise good intentioned therapists who could have been putting their energies into actually helping kids with often severe psychological problems. The kids we worked with were after all in the “System” due to extreme abuse, neglect, learning disabilities and so on and had shown they were unable to function in the regular school system. As therapists we could have using our time to develop good ideas for groups, spending more time with the kids or talking with family members, etc. Instead, we slaved away at our computers creating huge folders full of forms detailing every movement of these kids. Then these huge folders went into storage after the kids was discharged, and 98% of it was never read by anyone.

    We often speculated as to how the government could be run in such a illogical, inefficient, and seemingly self-perpetuating manner (that is paperwork developed seemingly to justify someone’s job in some office somewhere…). The union conundrum described above offers one explanation for the mess we experienced. Too many workers needing to justify their jobs by making up redundant useless paperwork to burden workers and kids in the social service system. Multiply that by the MANY other areas of life affected by government bureaucrats, and you have a dense glue that will eventually slow down and stop all productive work in the State.

    Thanks for the vent!

  6. Peter A. Quilici says:

    I live in Illinois, and the public employee unions almost control elections in the states most populated county, Cook, which includes Chicago. Their campaign contributions, campaign workers and numbers (including active employees, dependents and retirees) are overwhelming.

    Watch out for any aid packages from the feds to the states for so-called infra-structure. A chunk will go to prop up underfunded public employee pensions, which in turn will funnel money back to the politicians. And the “pay to play” donations for road work, bridges, etc. will make new kings in the states, counties and large municipalities.

  7. Steve says:

    If only unions had been more in number, we wouldn’t be going thru this bush depression because of reagan era wages still in effect.

    Corporate profits have skyrocketed. Wages are late 70′s, early 80′s stagnant.

  8. boprn says:

    Unions can only ASK for pay/benefit programs. It is up to the city/county/state to approve such requests. Unions have had a positive influence at the state level (which is where I work), in that they have made for a level playing field…e.g. – job bidding. Are there some bad unions? Of course there are some bad unions – CCPOA comes to mind. Even with CCPOAs immature antics, the members of CCPOA are just regular people, doing a good job. But this article seems to be more about the pay & benefits unionized employees receieve than about unoin behavior – and specificaly about pensions. How have pension percentages got so high? The answer to that goes back to negotiations between DPA and the various unions. Ten years ago & before, it was not in fashion to pay govt employees a pay rate that was equal to that of the private sector. Goverment lawers, doctors, nurses, were making 50% to 60% of what they could make on the outside. The govenor, and other elected officials did not want to raise employee pay, as it would be political suicide. Pension packages were raised instead. The unions bought off on it, looking at it from a life long stand point (total compensation over an employees life). The added cost was minimal at the time, and whatever end costs there would be would be SOMEONE else’s problem. With the stock market gains of the past, the contribution rate (the amount the state hd to put in) to CalPers was very low – a fraction of what social security would have been. Now that the economy has changed (however temporary) we have alarmists saying that CalPers is unsustainable, that the unions have beat the state into giving out fat pensions, and so on.

    The facts of the matter have been lost, due to the circumstances of the present. The fact that increased pension packages were given instead of pay parity. The fact that, on average, CalPers has been cheaper for the tax payers than social security (the average year to year contributions to CalPers are less than that required by SS), the fact that these pension benefits are 70% stock market gains & those gains find there way back into the community as disposable income. These facts have been lost in the alarmist writings of those at EcoWorld, pension tsunami, and so on.

    Money matters – rather than focusing on those who work for a living, we should be focusing on those who don’t. The illegal population, welfare population, and so on, is destroying the financial health of the state. The number of illegals inmates in the state is astounding. These inmates are here as a result of lack border secruity, as with all illeglas. Shouldn’t the state be demanding $ from the federal govt as reimbusement for the feds lack of enforcing the bordrers? Shouldn’t the state be demanding 1$ back for every 1$ sent in as tax revenue (calif is on the bottom end for getting back tax money). Why are our tax payers subsidizing other states budgets? Why are our tax payers paying for the the feds decision to not enforce immigration laws?

    Instead our beloved Ed points his focus to the easiest target of all – the public employee. It is an easy target, as it is political sucicide to fight back. With the vast majority of the states employees being degreed profresionals, there is not a great threat of a mass uprising by state employees. IT’S SAFE. It is not safe to threaten the benefits if illegals, welfare queens, those with subsidized housing – it causes riots, it is not politically correct. IT TAKES COURAGE. Perhaps courage is what our editors lack these days. Jounalistic integrity may be dead, but there will always be a few of us left to right the ship.

    BTW – Hi Ed.

  9. Ed Ring says:

    boprn: It is good to hear from you again. If we are going to resume this dialogue, let me state a few of the main points that I think define EcoWorld’s editorial position – you will agree with some, and disagree with others, but here they are:

    (1) Public sector employees in California, especially in the nonmanagement / nonprofessional ranks, make far more in base pay than their counterparts doing similar work make in the private sector.

    (2) Public sector employees in the professional ranks are now compensated at rates of base pay that are at least comparable to what all but a small minority of ultra-successful private sector practitioners make. Remember in the private sector the gross earnings of professionals must finance paying their staff, marketing, liability insurance, and many other expenses that, for example, doctors and attorneys in the public sector don’t have to pay for.

    (3) Public safety professionals clearly deserve a some compensation premium for the risks they take year after year. But this premium still has to be negotiated. If you apply all of the compensation – including the present value of future retirement compensation and benefits (which have to be applied to the years when they are working to develop an accurate figure) – to the pay of many public safety professionals, you find there are thousands who are making $200K per year or more. How much is too much?

    (4) The pension benefits that public sector employees receive are far better than social security, and now that they are making as much or more in normal annual pay, this is inequitable.

    (5) The returns that pension funds could earn on a sustainable basis when these funds were smaller, and during a time of unsustainable debt-fueled economic growth, are unrealistic now that the funds have become so large, and now that the phony boom is over. The real, inflation adjusted return a passive investment fund representing tens of millions of workers can earn will not significantly exceed the real rate of economic growth for the economy they invest in – and that is only around 3-4% per year.

    (6) Because of unrealistic expectations for pension fund returns, combined with unwarranted increases in public sector employee compensation, probably most of the city, county governments in California and elsewhere in the U.S. face bankruptcy.

    (7) The reason these compensation packages became unsustainable is indeed the fault of politicians, but nearly every politician in California is controlled by public sector unions. There is no financial entity able to challenge the agenda of these unions in every local election – they provide the overwhelming proportion of election financing at the local levels, and they can and will spend whatever they have to in order to always get their people and their initiatives elected – and to defeat anyone or anything they oppose. California’s failed “year of reform” in 2005 proved this.

    (8) There is a synergy between public sector growth and social problems. Notwithstanding many programs of genuine and compelling value, overly indulgent policies towards the indigent, showering them with benefits and aid, breeds dependency and undermines character. The more these programs fail, the more government employees are required to administer them, because instead of alleviating dependence, they enable and breed dependence. Cracking down on these programs is politically infeasible because the unions who control our public sector and our elections know that to succeed in reforming the welfare state would cost them jobs.

    (9) The greatest threat to our taxpaying private sector and our economy in general comes from socialist environmentalists, who are using global warming alarm as a pretext for an unprecedented expansion of government regulations and fees. This in-turn benefits the public sector unions, whose leadership is financially savvy enough to understand only through massive transfers of wealth and takings in the name of fighting climate change, can sufficient revenues be raised to address the deficits caused by their outrageous compensation packages.

    The solutions?

    (1) Outlaw all political activity on the part of public sector unions, if not ban them altogether.

    (2) Require public employees to make no more than their counterparts in the private sector. Immediately roll back salaries of all public employees to these levels.

    (3) Abolish public employee pensions for future public sector hires and let them join with everyone else in the United States by qualifying for social security when they retire. Subject to #2, permit defined contribution plans to supplement social security for agencies where appropriate, just as is done in the private sector.

    (4) For existing public sector hires – including for currently retired former public sector workers – immediately roll back pension benefits to whatever levels they were at ten years ago, before pension benefits began to get out of control. Then grant these benefits to all existing public employees according to the following formula – whatever they’ve earned so far in terms of a defined benefit (subject to the ten year rollback), they will keep, but for the remainder of their careers they will participate in the new plan – social security plus, where appropriate, a defined contribution retirement plan.

    (5) Identify and eliminate all public sector jobs where the overall impact is to create dependency instead of alleviate it. With respect to more general public services, embrace efficient solutions, such as clean waste-to-energy plants, instead of supposedly “green” solutions such as recycling.

    (6) Redirect environmentalist priorities to address genuine environmental challenges such as particulate and mercury emissions and abandon support for global socialism ala fighting alleged climate change.

    (7) Start building roads, bridges, freeways, dams, aquaducts, power plants and desalination plants. Improve bus service and fast intercity rail on existing track. Quit using environmentalism as the justification to squelch these projects that would create wealth and lower the cost of a high standard of living. Quit using environmentalism as the excuse to instead build infrastructure that nobody wants (except those public contractors and public employees fortunate enough to build them and operate them), such as light rail and bullet trains.

    (8) Quit micromanaging land use, forcing everyone into ridiculously dense neighborhoods, or ruining beautiful semi rural neighborhoods with “infill,” which artificially inflates the value of homes and forces development into existing jurisdictions, in order to raise tax revenue to pay inflated salaries to public sector employees.

  10. boprn says:

    Hi Ed,

    And to think that in the past you have said my posts are long…

    =]

    This will take a day or so to respond to. I agree with most of what your saying, but there are a couple of points I would like to spar on. I must say, I am pleased to see you are still willing to discuss this issue. Like you, I believe the discussion of pension & pension reform provides an opportunity for public education. It is obvious that we both have points of view – views that come from research of the topic.

    Give me a day or so to respond to this. I’m not used to posts of this length from you.

    =]

  11. boprn says:

    The solutions?

    (1) Outlaw all political activity on the part of public sector unions, if not ban them altogether.

    Do you really believe that public servants should be denied the rights that everyone else takes for granted? To deny political expression of any group is against the framework of the constitution, a document I can only imagine that you would support.

    (2) Require public employees to make no more than their counterparts in the private sector. Immediately roll back salaries of all public employees to these levels.

    This is an interesting proposition. So, your saying, for instance, that the head of CalPers (a public employee) should make less than her counterpart in the private sector. The counterpart in this case makes 50 mil a year, and the lady that is head of CalPers makes less than 1/100th of that. I guess you got a point – WE NEED TO RAISE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PAY. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps you mean the head of…say, CDCR? This person overseas 50,000 employees, with a 11 billion budget. A comparable company on the outside would be paying the CEO in excess of 15 mil a year. The head of CDCR makes 1/94th of that amount. Hmmm. Well, maybe you mean a RN – let’s say in the S.F. area (since San Quentin is there). Well, an RN at the local hospital makes 150k/year, and with CDCR (the HIGHEST paid RNs in the state) makes 108k/year – and that’s after recent raises. But wait!! You would want to bring up police, which has no comparison to the outside. Or corrections officers, which on a national basis, when adjusted for cost of living & the high rate of taxes in Calif are actually paid on par with the rest of the nation. Or – well, you get the point.

    (3) Abolish public employee pensions for future public sector hires and let them join with everyone else in the United States by qualifying for social security when they retire. Subject to #2, permit defined contribution plans to supplement social security for agencies where appropriate, just as is done in the private sector.

    As you well know CalPers was put into place a long time ago, in a place far far away – for the purpose of SAVING the state of Calif money. Over the 80 or so years that CalPers has been in place, the cost of the system has been cheaper than the alternative – Social Security. Fully 70% of CalPers payouts come from market gains, with only 30% coming from actual deposits. The net effect has been (even up to recent years) a cost basis that is lower than Social Security. In addition, those market gains that are paid to CalPers members are redirected into the community upon retirement as additional income. This additional income fuels growth and jobs. I would ask why you do not want the stock market gains of the past to benefit the state of Calif – do you not like Calif? =]

    (4) For existing public sector hires – including for currently retired former public sector workers – immediately roll back pension benefits to whatever levels they were at ten years ago, before pension benefits began to get out of control. Then grant these benefits to all existing public employees according to the following formula – whatever they’ve earned so far in terms of a defined benefit (subject to the ten year rollback), they will keep, but for the remainder of their careers they will participate in the new plan – social security plus, where appropriate, a defined contribution retirement plan.

    You can not roll back pensions, and here is why; many public employees have participated in the ARSC program. This program allows people covered by the CalPers system to buy extra years. You can buy military time, or what is often referred to as ‘air’ time. A person can buy 4 years of military, and 5 years of air time for a total of 9 years. I have bought 8 years. The choice to buy 8 years came down to buying an annuity from http://www.immeaditeannutity.com, or buying the same thing from CalPers. Each is guaranteed to pay out. CalPers was slightly cheaper, so I went with them. You are proposing to wipe out annuity contracts, as well typical retirement obligations of CalPers. This falls under the class of ‘illegal as hell’. I’m sure you know that. We have been in agreement in the past on NEW HIRES. For new hires, you can say ‘here is the system you have’. In addition, new hires have not bought any time in the form of annuitized years. The state would be open to endless lawsuits under your proposal, and would lose every single one, esp since people have written contracts in hand for the purchased years. Agreed?

    (5) Identify and eliminate all public sector jobs where the overall impact is to create dependency instead of alleviate it. With respect to more general public services, embrace efficient solutions, such as clean waste-to-energy plants, instead of supposedly “green” solutions such as recycling.

    Agree with you completely. But from where does this problem stem? Every time some half baked ‘feel good’ program goes on the ballot, the people of Calif vote for it. Right? The voters have to stop voting in every program that makes them feel good. I look at it this way; people want all these nice things (much like a kid wants a new bike), but don’t want to pay for it. When it comes time to hire the people to service the VERY PROGRAM THEY VOTED FOR, people cry ‘government is expanding’. Come on, if you voted for it, then don’t complain when the govt staffs the very legislation that you voted for. Or should we have people working for free in the govt? You tell me the solution. I agree with you, but to me the only solution is to have an educated electorate – and that is something that is diminishing by the day. We need to attack the root cause, not those people who were hired to provide those services. Yes?

    (6) Redirect environmentalist priorities to address genuine environmental challenges such as particulate and mercury emissions and abandon support for global socialism ala fighting alleged climate change.

    Agreed. We need nuke plants, electric cars, and less green nuts.

    (7) Start building roads, bridges, freeways, dams, aquaducts, power plants and desalination plants. Improve bus service and fast intercity rail on existing track. Quit using environmentalism as the justification to squelch these projects that would create wealth and lower the cost of a high standard of living. Quit using environmentalism as the excuse to instead build infrastructure that nobody wants (except those public contractors and public employees fortunate enough to build them and operate them), such as light rail and bullet trains.

    Agreed again.

    (8) Quit micromanaging land use, forcing everyone into ridiculously dense neighborhoods, or ruining beautiful semi rural neighborhoods with “infill,” which artificially inflates the value of homes and forces development into existing jurisdictions, in order to raise tax revenue to pay inflated salaries to public sector employees.

    Agree with you big time on this one. I have to fight the coastal commission because I own ocean front property. To build a simple garage costs 15,000$ in B.S. govt paperwork. It’s a pain, and a big part of it is just job justification.

    Look forward to your respones as always.

  12. BartMan says:

    Mr. Ring, it appears you need to hire this boprn on your staff. He has certainly won this debate. Your posts (Ed Ring & boprn) are great reading. Keep it up.

  13. Ed Ring says:

    Ok Bart & Boprn, there is a lot of need for dialogue with integrity, and you offer this priceless gift. Perhaps a short answer is what might suffice, at least for now, in these busy moments that come like waves. And perhaps both entrepreneurs and public sector workers can appreciate how sometimes the work comes in waves. Of course CEO salaries are higher, because we purchase goods from companies run by CEOs at our option. Buying the goods of government are not voluntary.

    If public sector workers believe it is their right to organize and participate in political activity at all levels with virtually no restrictions, perhaps they might be more active in areas where they are uniquely qualified to see what is really happening – perhaps they might see the illicit, emotionally appealing, illegal or ultra-liberal enabling of benefits and services to the indigent communities as their own meal-ticket. Perhaps they might lobby for reform that would eliminate this enabling, even if it might shrink their own organizations, due to decreased need.

  14. boprn says:

    LOL

    Couldn’t afford to take the pension cut, but it is fun to argue with Ed Ring.

    =]

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