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January 17, 2015

Public Sector Unions: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed [CBD]

Government against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences by Daniel Disalvo is a book that actually takes sides. And the warmth in the cockles of your small black heart as you read the next sentence will tell you which side it takes. From the Wall Street Journal review of the book: "Trash disposal in Chicago costs $231 per ton, versus $74 in non-union Dallas."

It's simple, really. There are no adversaries in government union contract negotiations. Everything else is details.

There is something grotesque about public workers fighting for benefits whose provision will hurt the public. Citizens who vote Democratic may choose not to acknowledge the perversity out of party loyalty. But over the years a few well-known Democrats have sided against the public-sector unions. "The process of collective bargaining as usually understood cannot be transplanted into the public service," a Democratic politician once declared. His name? Franklin Roosevelt.

The power that public unions have accrued is startling. New York City's feckless and buffoonish mayor recently made a series of idiotic statements in support of the bad guys and critical of the cops. So who does the union go after? The people of the City of New York! Blue flu is not some arcane and complex negotiating technique; it hurts real people. Not upholding the law means not doing the job one is paid to do. In a sane world they would be suspended or fired. I would have been in every job I have ever held!

Perhaps the police union could have announced support for a "law and order" candidate in the next mayoral election, and lobbied their fellow union members in the FDNY etc. to support someone other than De Blasio. Instead they pitched a hissy-fit that hurt the people they claim to protect.


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posted by Open Blogger at 10:30 AM

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