Fred Siegel, a historian at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, has written of the “New Tammany Hall,” which he describes as the incestuous alliance between public officials and labor.
“Public unions have had no natural adversary; they give politicians political support and get good contracts back,” Mr. Siegel said. “It’s uniquely dysfunctional.”
Even if that is so, this battle comes woven with complications. Across the nation in the last two years, public workers have experienced furloughs and pay cuts. Local governments shed 212,000 jobs last year.
A raft of recent studies found that public salaries, even with benefits included, are equivalent to or lag slightly behind those of private sector workers. The Manhattan Institute, which is not terribly sympathetic to unions, studied New Jersey and concluded that teachers earned wages roughly comparable to people in the private sector with a similar education.
Benefits tend to be the sorest point. From Illinois to New Jersey, politicians have refused to pay into pension funds, creating deeper and deeper shortfalls.
Yes. Public unions have no natural adversary. Except for ALL REPUBLICANS EVER.
The whole story is basically about how people are mad at unions for not getting screwed, which this bit I’ve bolded then demonstrates is a construct of Republican propaganda and not remotely the case. So basically the entire story could have been framed (and could have lead with) conservative bogeymen as usual not existing in the slightest, and maybe it’s time for these smear merchants to sit down and shut up.
Instead, it lead with this:
Across the nation, a rising irritation with public employee unions is palpable, as a wounded economy has blown gaping holes in state, city and town budgets, and revealed that some public pension funds dangle perilously close to bankruptcy.
Yeah. A rising irritation is palpable. Isn’t it?