Our House Divided Against Labor

John Ransom
Posted: Sep 15, 2012 12:01 AM

Their hunger can’t be satisfied.

In a country where government spending now makes up 40 percent of our GDP annually and where our national debt is 106 percent of our GDP, public employees are helping out their fellow citizens during tough economic times by demanding a larger slice of the shrinking national pie.

In California, the state public pension plan is stiffing private investors- even ones they just recently borrowed from to make up for poor investment performance- in order to make sure that government employees are golden.

In another case in California, the Poway Unified School District is borrowing $105 million to build schools, with promise to pay back close to a billion dollars at the end of the 40-year loan period.

“Last August, district officials obtained $105 million for school construction with the promise to repay investors $981 million under long-term financing known as capital appreciation bonds, or CABs,” writes the U-T San Diego News. “The deal prevents the district from paying anything on the bond for 20 years as interest compounds, and requires repayment in the 20 years after, reaching the maximum 40-year term permitted for bond repayment under state law.”

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More schools mean more union construction jobs and more union teachers.

How can we let a billion dollars stand in the way of that kind of progress? 

In Jefferson County, Colorado the public school system- after continuing the spending party during the recession by dipping into reserve funds and taking federal stimulus dollars- is putting off making the tough budget-cut decisions by again asking voters to hike taxes. The primary beneficiaries of a successful tax hike in this case will be union employees.

Across the Mississippi, in Chicago, coddled teachers, in what is one of the chronically worst school districts in the nation, have rejected a 16 percent raise over four years and have chosen to hit the picket line demanding higher wages and better benefits than small business owner have.

“Keep in mind that CPS is a system where the average median salary for teachers is $76,450 a year,” writes PolicyMic, “compared to the $53,976 made by the average private sector employee, where their graduation rate is barely half (55%), and where only 6 out of every 100 children in a system responsible for over 400,000 children will go on to earn a bachelor’s degree by the time they are 26-years-old.”

On the east coast longshoreman- not public workers but same deal- are threatening to strike the ports on the east coast because shippers have had the gall to ask union workers to abide by over-time rules to help keep costs down.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, we are now far into the third year since a policy was initiated under Obama with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to labor agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed

The crisis won't only be electoral, it shall also be- will primarily be- financial.

In Detroit, Michigan a judge recently denied the police union’s request to halt the ten-percent reduction in pay that Mayor David Bing ordered in July to combat annual budget deficits for the city.  

Detroit, the city Obama “saved” is in such bad shape economically that it is only operating under a consent agreement with the state and is a hair’s breath from bankruptcy.

Although Scott Walker’s struggle against public unions in Madison was the first open outbreak of fighting in this long war of attrition between the public purse and the public porkers, the stakes for the rest of the country are far greater.

There is no more corrupting influence in politics than union money going to the very politicians who are supposed to be negotiating on behalf of taxpayers with the unions who keep them funded.

The unions eat up the politicians and the politicians gorge on the taxpayers, and thus the food chain is complete.

And despite 100 years of education reform in the United States, we still haven’t gotten the formula right.

According to USC the United States spends $7,743 on each school aged child- more than any other country- and yet the test results compared to other countries are middling.

The country commits to close to a trillion dollars on K-12 education annually without much result.  

And the unions cry for more, more, more.

As long as we have greedy public unions funding self-interested politicians, expect the money binge and purge to continue.